Monday, April 18, 2005

Massive voter turnout would be great victory: party official

Description of Selected News: "Massive voter turnout would be great victory: party official

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) – The chairman of supreme council of the Solidarity Party, Mohammad Reza Khabbaz, said on Saturday that the people’s massive participation in elections would mean a great victory for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Speaking with the Mehr News Agency in Mashhad, Khabbaz noted that the officials are greatly concerned about voter apathy among the people.

“We have to strive to see 30 million people cast ballots in elections even if it’s not our desired candidate that they vote for,” the former reformist MP said.

Khabbaz added that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution named the current Iranian year the year of “National Solidarity and Public Participation” in order to warn the people that a reduction in the number of votes would embolden the enemies of the Islamic Revolution.

He stated that the presence of different candidates would help increase voter turnout. “However, this would also lead to vote diversity and a runoff; in fact the Interior Ministry is preparing for a runoff presidential election.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, the former lawmaker noted that the majority of SP members have reached a consensus on the candidacy of former Majlis speaker Mahdi Karrubi. “Karrubi has a 40-year record of political activities in line with the objectives of the late Imam Khomeini; he is a decisive manager capable of lobbying with all groups.”

Iran's presidential election is due to take place on June 17, and prospective candidates must register between May 10 and 17."