Iran News ...


11/25/11

Iranian reformist groups barred from elections

Source: Radio Zamaneh

The head of Iran's Elections Headquarters has emphasized once again that two disbanded reformist organizations, the Islamic Iran Participation Front and the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution, will not be allowed to run candidates in the coming parliamentary elections.

ISNA reports that Solat Mortazavi, the head of Elections Headquarters, told a workshop for provincial elections officials that Ayatollah Khamenei has warned officials to ensure that the "enemy" does not turn the elections into a challenge.

Mortazavi added that these elections are pivotal, and widespread participation is especially vital.

He said reformists are not barred from the elections so long as the Guardian Council deems them eligible.

In past years, the reformists have repeatedly accused the Guardian Council of disqualifying candidates whose political views don't match those of the establishment.

Mortazavi stressed that disbanded organizations such as the Participation Front and the Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution are excluded from the elections.

The two reformist organizations were dissolved during the crackdown on protesters after the 2009 presidential election, when reformists and millions of protesters alleged the vote was rigged in favour of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The two parties were dissolved, and many of its members were arrested and given stiff prison sentences.

The two reformist candidates endorsed by these groups, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, have been under house arrest since last February. They have both indicated that in view of the government crackdown on the opposition and the harsh treatment of political prisoners, they have no faith in elections coming up in March, which has led reformists to consider boycotting them.

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