Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Qalibaf Says Differences but No Mud Slinging

Description of Selected News: "Moin calls low voter turnout his main rival

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- Reformist presidential hopeful Mostafa Moin called himself an unrivaled candidate in the election scene here on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Interior Ministry headquarters after registering to participate in the election, Moin said he would not withdraw from the poll even in favor of former prime minister Mir Hossein Musavi. “I welcome Musavi’s possible candidacy in the election and would compete with him if he enters the race. I also believe his presence would help the democratic process in Iran.” Asked who he thought would be his main rival in the election, Moin replied, “A lack of public participation in the poll.” ------------ High turnout more important than who wins: Qalibaf

Encouraging a massive turnout in the election is far more important than the victory of a particular faction or candidate, presidential candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a session of the Islamic Revolution Devotees Society, Qalibaf said that he would compete with Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for the presidential post. “I am strongly against the idea of ruining Rafsanjani, since such an effort would not be in line with the interests of the Islamic system and the clergy. I do, however, criticize some of his economic policies.”

Iranians want a strong president who can create fundamental changes in the country’s executive branch with regard to the Constitution, the former national police chief observed.

Qalibaf stressed that only an efficient, popular, and strong government that is committed to the principles of real reform can meet people’s new and rising demands. -----------Larijani will definitely compete with Rafsanjani: spokesman

The spokesman of presidential hopeful Ali Larijani announced on Wednesday that Larijani would definitely compete with Rafsanjani in the race for the presidency.

The Coordination Council for the Islamic Revolution Forces Committee held a session on Tuesday night in which they agreed on a brotherly competition between Larijani and Rafsanjani, Mohsen Kuhkan told reporters. ------------Karrubi vows to promote harmony between Shias and Sunnis

Presidential candidate Mahdi Karrubi met with the Sunni citizens of Birjand in Khorasan on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the former Majlis speaker said that the Islamic system of Iran belongs to everyone.

“Everyone has a share in the country, and we should all stick together both in times of victory and failure and during bitter and sweet events,” he noted.

Karrubi stressed that unity among the Shia and Sunni groups in Iran is essential, adding that he would attempt to obliterate the divisions between the two groups if elected president.

“I will try to implement the Constitution comprehensively and increase ethnic and sectarian minority participation in my government,” he noted."