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Principlist clergy fail to endorse Ahmadinejad as presidential candidate

Press TV - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has failed to win the endorsement of a key Iranian Principlist association ahead of the upcoming presidential elections.

A member of the Jame'e-ye Rowhaniyat-e Mobarez (the Combatant Clergy Association), Gholam-Reza Mesbahi-Moqaddam, told Iranian Labor News Agency that the party could not reach a consensus on President Ahmadinejad, as he did not receive sufficient support from the association members.

"The majority of the members of the association voted in favor of Ahmadinejad, with a minority remaining silent. But a consensus could not be reached, as a quorum in support of the President could not be met," Mesbahi-Moqaddam said.

Asked about the reasons, he said that the association was somewhat critical of the Ahmadinejad administration.

Mesbahi-Moqaddam said that the association could go so far as to throw its weight behind Ahmadinejad's main rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi. A third option for the Combatant Clergy Association would be to remain neutral, he added.

Iran holds the 10th presidential elections on June 12 with three candidates having officially announced their candidacy.

Former Majlis speaker Mehdi Karroubi, last Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei have announced their bid for presidency.

President Ahmadinejad is also expected to seek a second term in the upcoming elections although he has not formally announced his bid.

According to his media advisor, Ali-Akbar Javanfekr, the President will take part in the election as an independent candidate.

... Payvand News - 04/23/09 ... --

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