Wednesday, May 25, 2005

ACC Leader Distances Himself From Karrubi's Disrespect for the Supreme Leader Request About Negative Campaigning

Description of Selected News: "Campaigning kicks off for presidential election

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN -- Campaigning for next month's presidential election officially got underway in Iran on Wednesday after the Guardian Council agreed to allow two reformists to enter the race.

The field of eight men will be battling to succeed reformist President Mohammad Khatami, who is completing his second consecutive term and thus barred from running for reelection.

The two additional presidential hopefuls that were approved are Mostafa Moin, who is the candidate of Iran's main reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP), and Mohsen Mehralizadeh, an independent candidate who is currently a vice president.

The other candidates are former national police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former IRIB radio and television network director Ali Larijani, Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaii, former parliament speaker Mahdi Karrubi, and Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

I will not introduce my cabinet before winning public support: Karrubi

Presidential candidate Mahdi Karrubi said on Wednesday that he would only introduce the members of his cabinet after winning public support. Referring to the Guardian Council’s recent decision to approve the qualifications of presidential hopefuls Mostafa Moin and Mohsen Mehralizadeh after the Supreme Leader asked the oversight body to review its earlier decision to disqualify the two prominent candidates, Karrubi said, “I believed that some people’s rights were violated and, in a message, called on the Supreme Leader to take action.” Asked whether he would have withdrawn from the election if the decision to bar Moin from the poll had not been reversed, he stated, “I would not have withdrawn, but would have shown my protest.”

Rezaii will not drop out: campaign manager

The head of Mohsen Rezaii’s campaign headquarters announced on Wednesday that the conservative presidential candidate will inform the public about his planned government programs later next week.

Rezaii will start campaigning on June 1, traveling from Qazvin and Zanjan to all of the country’s provinces, Amir Ali Amiri told the Mehr News Agency.

Dismissing reports that Rezaii would drop out of the race, he said that Rezaii will remain a candidate until the end of the election.

Khatami urged IIPP members to reach consensus on Karrubi

In a meeting with members of the Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP), President Mohammad Khatami urged them to support presidential hopeful Mahdi Karrubi, MP Esmail Gerami said on Wednesday.

Gerami, who is also a spokesman for Karrubi’s campaign headquarters, told the Mehr News Agency that Khatami had made the proposal before the GC revised its decision regarding the qualifications of reformist candidate Mostafa Moin.

Karrubi’s criticism of Rafsanjani not fair: ACC member

Majid Ansari, a member of the Association of Combatant Clerics (ACC), expressed his disapproval here on Wednesday of Mahdi Karrubi’s recent criticism of presidential candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The letter Karrubi wrote in response to Rafsanjani’s statement is not a fair criticism, the vice president for parliamentary affairs told reporters.

In a letter addressed to Rafsanjani, Karrubi had criticized a statement issued by the EC chairman in which he announced he had only entered the presidential race because there was no popular and capable candidate running for president. Ansari noted that although the ACC supports Karrubi in the presidential race, “this does not mean the association approves of all of his stances.”"