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Karroubi vows to appoint women ministers if elected Iran president

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Mahdi Karroubi stated on Saturday that he will appoint women as ministers and presidential aides if he wins the June presidential election, a move to break the barrier in holding ministerial posts by women.


In a gathering on the occasion of International Women's Day, Karroubi said that women should be involved in political, social, and cultural activities, Etemad Melli (national confidence) newspaper reported on Sunday.


The presidential contender said generally women hold less executive posts in the world but he intends to appoint women ministers and vice presidents if he succeeds to win the elections.


He said one of his most important programs will be to change the current situation including a push for more parliamentary seats for women. The former parliament speaker said he even believes that women can be members of the Guardian Council.


Karroubi said when he was parliament speaker he first proposed the idea that women can run for a seat in the Assembly of Experts and that was like walking in a minefield.


He went on to say that women themselves should rely on their own abilities and have self-esteem.


Women have so far served as vice presidents in the successive Iranian cabinets.


Karroubi, the National Confidence Party secretary general and former Majlis speaker, declared his official candidacy for the presidential elections on October 12 last year.


Mousavi will declare candidacy this week: source


Former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi will announce his candidacy for the presidential election in the next few days and will start campaigning all over the country afterwards, according to an informed source in Mousavi's campaign office.

Mousavi, who served as prime minister from 1981 to 1989, refused to run for president in 1997 and 2005 after much speculation about his potential candidacy during those election years.

After "consideration and discussions", Mousavi has made up his mind and will announce his final decision this week, the source, who requested anonymity, told the Mehr News Agency on Sunday.

He stated that "members of Mousavi's campaign office have been chosen" and have begun preparing for the election campaign.

Meanwhile, the Kalameh website, which is the official source for news about Mousavi, reported on Saturday that Mousavi will take up the challenge.

The unconfirmed reports about a Mousavi candidacy will shake up the Iranian political scene in this election year since former president Mohammad Khatami has repeatedly said that he would drop out of the race if Mousavi decided to run for president as the reformist candidate.

However, National Confidence Party leader Mahdi Karroubi, who is also a reformist hopeful, has vehemently insisted that he will contest the election.

Many pundits say the reformists need to agree on a single candidate for the June 12 election to improve their prospects for victory.

... Payvand News - 03/08/09 ... --

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