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Khatami calls on reformists to be patient

TEHRAN, Jan. 30 (Mehr News Agency) -- Former president Mohammad Khtami called on pro-reform movements on Wednesday to wait and see what would be the result of the petitions filed for reconsidering the competence of the rejected parliamentary candidates by the vetting bodies.

Khtami dismissed any comments about boycotting the elections scheduled to be held on March 14.

Reiterating that at this juncture, reformists should be patient, Khatami said there is a strong bond between the reformists and the Islamic system and they belong to the system "although we have our specific viewpoints and political tastes."

"Like all the existing political movements, we want to actively participate in the political arena of the country and no one can prevent us from doing so," he asserted.

"But our presence in the election without having any candidates does not make sense," the heavyweight reformist told a gathering of Reformists Coalition directors from provinces.

Emphasizing the determination of the pro-reform movements to stand in the legislative elections, the former president said many of the rejected candidates should be allowed to run.

High-ranking officials should contribute to making basic changes in the current situation, Khatami noted.

GC questions ban on using posters

Guardians Council has said that the bill recently passed by the parliament that prohibits the parliamentary hopefuls from using pictures, posters and banners in the election campaign runs counter to the Constitution.

GC has asked the parliament weather printing the pictures and posters is banned too, and parliament's answer has been positive.

Names of 23 candidates finalized in UFF list

So far 23 out of 30 candidates on the United Fundamentalist Front's list of candidates for the Tehran constituency have been finalized, Ali-Asghar Zareii, representative of the Fragrance of Service to the UFF, told Mehr News Agency Wednesday.

Asked whether the UUF has been faced with any problems in regard to the endorsement of its candidates, ZAreii replied, "Since we introduced veteran political figures to run for Tehran province, we did not have any problems, but in other provinces some of our friends were rejected that we hope they would be requalified."

Minister says Iran has record turnout

Iranian people's participation in the elections is among the highest in the world, Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi said on Wednesday.

It is the result of the society's inclination to take part in the elections as well as pushing for measures taken by the concerned bodies to encourage people to turn out massively in elections, Pourmohammadi told a congress hosted by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

He further said that IRIB is responsible to create enthusiasm among the people to massively turn out in the parliamentary elections.

IRIB director Ezatollah Zarqami also said that the national TV would follow the guidelines of the Supreme Leader and make serious efforts to encourage a high turnout in the March 14 elections.

"We would help the people to tell the groups committed to the Islamic Revolution's principles from those who seek to serve the enemy's interests so that they can vote more consciously."

... Payvand News - 01/31/08 ... --

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