Monday, June 20, 2005

Reformists are meeting to Discuss Baking Rafsanjani.

Description of Selected News: "Statements on presidential elections

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN – The Intelligence Ministry issued a statement on Sunday criticizing presidential candidate Mahdi Karrubi for alleging that the ministry had distributed provocative opinion polls among officials on the status of candidates.

“According to the Intelligence Ministry’s latest opinion polls Karrubi had achieved a significantly higher amount of the people’s votes in the last few days leading to the election, while other candidates had clearly lost part of their public support,” the statement read. “It seems that Mr. Karrubi has failed to notice these opinion polls and unfortunately this has caused him to make a hasty judgment.”

Former Majlis speaker Mahdi Karrubi, who came in third place in the poll, protested against the result of elections on Saturday saying he would appeal to the Supreme Leader to designate a special team to restore the rights of certain candidates.

An enthusiastic Iranian nation stormed ballot boxes on Friday voting for president from among seven candidates.

Based on official figures announced on Saturday by the Election Headquarters of the Interior Ministry, Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadinejad have taken the lead with the former in first and the latter in second place. Neither received over 50 percent of the vote and will hence meet in a runoff election on June 24.

Meanwhile, spokesman for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Masood Jazayeri noted on Sunday that people’s opinions should not be dishonored. Jazayeri said “If Mr. Karrubi objects to the process of the election there is a legal way to deal with this objection but it is not becoming for him to blame others for his failure.”

“People see various approaches and plans and give their opinion; these opinions should not be dishonored. “The gentlemen should better watch out not to embitter the people after they have experienced the sweetness of their recent move.”

Presidential candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who came in fourth place in the poll, issued a statement on Sunday calling for people’s massive turnout in the second stage of polling.

“We have reached our goal, that is people’s massive participation in the poll and will remain as diligent as ever in serving the nation and Islam,” Qalibaf said in his statement.

Meanwhile, Qalibaf's spokesman Mohsen Bahrami told AFP on Sunday that "We will not be supporting Mahmud Ahmadinejad” in the runoff.

The Assembly of Researchers and Teachers of the Qom Seminary issued a statement on Sunday lauding the Iranian people for their united participation in the ninth presidential election.

The vigilant presence of the Iranian nation in the June 17 presidential poll was a strong response to the global arrogance led by the United States, the statement read.

The Islamic Assembly of Iran’s Doctors also issued a statement on Sunday saying that the Iranian nation frustrated the hopes of the foolish U.S. president by establishing a great presence beside ballot boxes.

The Iranian people demonstrated their strong will to determine the fate of the Islamic Republic and to uphold their independence, freedom and power, the statement read.

A group of political activists and figures announced their stances toward the frontrunners, Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad, in separate interviews with ISNA.

Kamaleddin Shahriyari a member of the central council of the Engineers Islamic Society said on Sunday that the EIS has not yet decided which candidate it will support in the runoff.

Political secretary of the Islamic Revolution Devotees Society also announced on Sunday that members of the IRDS are divided on supporting Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad.

“We will hold a session later on Sunday or Monday and announce our official stance on supporting one of the two candidates,” he said.

Reza Raees Karami, a central council member of the Islamic Assembly of the Medical Society said on Sunday that his group would adopt the same stance that supporters of reformist candidate Mostafa Moin would adopt.

Spokesman for the Islamic Revolution Mujahedin Organization, Mohsen Armin stated that IRMO would announce its official stance toward the issue over the next few days, while central council member of the Islamic Iran Participation Party, Elaheh Koolaee noted that a congress of supporters of Moin would be held on Monday to make a final decision about the runoff. Secretary General of the Zeynab Society, Maryam Behruzi announced that Ahmadinejad and Rafsanjani “are of no difference for us”, saying “their success in reaching the second stage of polling means a victory for the conservatives since Ahmadinejad was supported by the conservatives while great conservative movements like the Association of Combatant Clerics and the Qom Seminary Teachers supported Rafsanjani.”

Behruzi added that the Zeynad Society would announce its final decision after holding a session Monday night. Political Secretary of the Followers of the Imam and Leadership Front said that the FILF has not yet made a decision about the runoff but “is not expected to reach a consensus on supporting one of the two candidates.”

As a member of the Coordination Council of the Islamic Revolution Forces Committee, he went on to say that the CCIRFC would hold a meeting on the issue in the next two days but is also not expected to reach a clear result.

Shahindokht Dehbozorgi, a member of the central council of the Assembly of Iran’s Women Journalists, said that her group would announce its final position toward the issue by Wednesday.

Spokesman for the Majlis Solidarity and Efficiency Faction, Reza Talaii-Nik noted that although the group prefers Rafsanjani, it has not yet made an official announcement.

Mohammad Nabi Habibi, Secretary General of the Islamic Coalition Party postponed announcing the party’s official stance until the CCIRFC makes a final decision.

Meanwhile, political parties and groups which supported Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad at the first round of polling are fervently continuing campaigns in favor of their desired candidate.

Khosro Daneshju, a member of the Coalition for Development announced that a consensus would be reached among the conservatives on Ahmadinejad while spokesman for the Moderation and Development Party, Gholam Ali Dehqan voiced support for Rafsanjani.

“As president, Rafsanjani can modify the challenge of foreign policy and boost national solidarity in the internal scene,” he commented."