Reformists to Turn Out in Force for Majlis Vote

Reformists to Turn Out in Force for Majlis Vote Reformists to Turn Out in Force for Majlis Vote

The reformist camp intends to release a comprehensive list of candidates representing all constituencies in this month's parliamentary elections, a senior member of the faction said.

Elections to the parliament and the Assembly of Experts will be held simultaneously on February 26.

"Reformists will field candidates in the upcoming polls for all the constituencies across the country," Mohammad Reza Aref, the head of the Reformist Policymaking Council, told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to unveil the council's official website on Tuesday, IRNA reported.  

An overwhelming number of the reformist hopefuls among the 12,000 registered to run for parliament have reportedly been disqualified by the Guardians Council, a 12-member body made up of clerics and jurists who vet candidates for any election.

Some of the rejected candidates are awaiting the outcome of their appeal.

Aref said, "A number of highly popular figures who could have added to the weight of the reformists' list of candidates were excluded by the council."

In some provinces, no popular and distinguished reformist personalities have been approved, but there are some highly competent candidates who can be enlisted to represent reformists along with those who will "hopefully" win the appeal to the clerical body's verdict, the former vice president said.

He dismissed the reports of a pro-government coalition between reformist and moderate politicians, saying, "No decision has been made yet in this regard by the Reformist Policymaking Council and media reports only reflect subjective views … If deemed necessary, the issue will be put on the council's agenda."

30-Strong List for Tehran

"We plan to field candidates for all the 290 parliamentary seats. We will have a complete 30-strong list for Tehran, which is expected to be finalized in the coming days."

Aref, who was to represent reformists in the 2013 presidential election, withdrew his candidacy in support of moderate Hassan Rouhani who won by a landslide.

"What matters is the people's high turnout at the ballot," he said, calling on the Guardians Council to reconsider its judgment of candidates so the votes would appeal to the public by giving them a wider and more varied choice.

The remarks mirrored those by President Rouhani who on Saturday urged the vetting body to "exude greater hope among the people by providing more freedom and power of choice to have a more competitive election on February 26."