Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Conservatives will win presidential election if Rafsanjani doesn't run: Hassan Rowhani

Conservatives will win presidential election if Rafsanjani doesn�t run: SNSC chief: "Conservatives will win presidential election if Rafsanjani doesn’t run: SNSC chief
TEHRAN, Feb. 2 (MNA) -- Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Hassan Rowhani has predicted that there will be a runoff in the next Iranian presidential election, which will be held in late spring.
The presidential election will certainly go to a second round, and all have acknowledged this, and that is why the factions are thinking about the second round, Rowhani told the Mehr News Agency in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

Every party or faction would prefer to field a single candidate in order to increase the chance of victory, since a plethora of candidates would not be helpful and would make both factions lose hope of winning in the first round, he added.

Every political current is trying to field only one candidate, but whether they succeed or not is a complicated matter, he observed, adding that each of the two factions have so far failed to reach a consensus on a single candidate due to the complexity of the issue.

Asked about the possibility of Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani tossing his hat into the ring, Rowhani said that if Rafsanjani decided to officially announce his candidacy, many significant changes would happen and some of the current candidates would withdraw.

The first prediction is that Rafsanjani will be able to win a majority of the votes, but this can only be said with more certainty when the race begins in earnest, he argued.

The SNSC secretary also did not rule out running for president himself.

Rowhani said that he had not yet made a final decision on the matter since the contenders had not yet locked horns and he did not know who would enter the contest.

However, the SNSC official announced that he would make up his mind by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 20, and stated that he would base his decision on opinion polls.

Rowhani said he believes that any group or person that fails to announce a decision on the presidential election before the end of the current Iranian calendar year is not serious.

If Rafsanjani announces his candidacy before the Coordination Council of the Islamic Revolution Forces Committee (CCIRFC) reaches a consensus on a final candidate, the committee will certainly face problems, he added.

He stated that if Rafsanjani entered the fray, the CCIRFC would face a dilemma and would be obliged to choose Rafsanjani because otherwise differences would emerge within the committee.

Rowhani also predicted that the conservatives would certainly win the presidential election if Rafsanjani did not run. "