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Legislative Elections Deepen Rouhani’s Dispute With His Opponents

Legislative Elections Deepen Rouhani’s Dispute With His Opponents

Friday, 7 February, 2020 - 10:45
FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a meeting with Muslim leaders and scholars in Hyderabad, India, February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo
London - Adel al-Salmi

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued an order to submit a regulation on “reforming the supervision of the elections.” This came hours after Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei defended the Guardian Council of the Constitution against a wave of criticism for preventing candidates of the reformist current from participating in the upcoming legislative elections,

The official IRNA news agency reported late on Wednesday that Rouhani’s orders came in response to a message by the “Union of the Nation of Iran” - the largest reformist party - which asked the Iranian president, a few days ago, to submit a draft-law to conduct a referendum on the supervision of the Guardian Council.

Rouhani’s warnings that the elections could turn into “ceremonies and victories” were met with support from the reformist parties.

In remarks last month, the Iranian president said at the government meeting: “We cannot tell people that 17 people compete for every seat, and that 170 or 1,700 people are running for elections. We must see how many parties represent the 1,700 candidates.”

The Union of the Nation of Iran party took advantage of Rouhani’s statements about the need to hold a referendum, and urged him to return to the public opinion on sensitive issues, such as economy, politics, society and culture.

The pro-Rouhani Reform and Moderate Candidates’ Coalition won all thirty seats allocated to Tehran in the legislative elections in 2016. The Guardian Council is scheduled to announce the final list of candidates for the parliamentary elections on February 11th.

However, reformist parties now fear a great failure in the coming years as a result of Rouhani’s unachieved promises in the economy, foreign policy and social freedoms.

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