Key Principlist Group's Approach to Elections Outlined

Key Principlist Group's Approach to Elections OutlinedKey Principlist Group's Approach to Elections Outlined

A spokesperson for the Combatant Clergy Association said the principlist group seeks to attract and support educated and experienced candidates for the upcoming Assembly of Experts and parliamentary elections, and the association will give priority to younger figures.

In an interview with IRNA, Gholamreza Mesbahi Moqaddam elaborated on the association's approach to the elections that will be held next February and said, "We in the Combatant Clergy Association believe the clergy should not abandon the elections and should take part whatever the circumstances." Besides, he said, "People expect the association to be their guide in the upcoming elections while not imposing its view on their votes."

Principlists have always thrown their support behind the association, so "we feel that we should reciprocate by taking the responsibility and, therefore, we will participate in such important events as elections," the lawmaker asserted.

According to Mesbahi Moqaddam, members of the association's leadership have traveled across the country over the past year and have gathered principlist figures in Tehran to discuss the role the association can play in the elections. "Our meetings attracted hundreds, sometimes up to several thousand people and political figures, which shows a public tendency for unity among principlists," said the cleric.

He said the association has been holding its regular sessions every two weeks after the death of its chairman Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani last October.

  Aiming for Strong Alliance

Mesbahi Moqaddam added that the association has held meetings with leaders of several principlist groups, noting, "We agree on one thing: that we should play our role in the elections through a strong coalition."

He predicted that the main competition in the upcoming polls will be between reformists and principlists. "We have never taken a stance against the reformists' participation in the elections. All we say is that it should come in a lawful, ethical manner."

Mesbahi Moqaddam called on reformists to clarify their views for the public so that "people can understand who is going to compete in the elections as reformist" because there would be a long list under the title of reformists in the absence of transparency and then "even some reformists would disagree with the affiliations and viewpoints" of those on that long list.