Society Needs Third Political Bloc

Society Needs Third Political BlocSociety Needs Third Political Bloc

A prominent lawmaker said the demands of the Iranian society necessitate the existence of a third political bloc free from the weak points of others.

Ali Motahhari made the statement in a press conference of top figures included in the "Voice of Nation" list of candidates, which was held in Tehran on Sunday, in the countdown to the legislative and Experts Assembly elections on Feb. 26.

Voice of Nation is the name of an independent list for the capital city of Tehran whose campaign slogan is "Economic boom, civil rights".

Headed by Motahhari, the list consists of principlist, reformist and independent figures.

Motahhari explained that although he believes in principlism and reformism, the two established currents in the Iranian political scene, shortcomings in both have necessitated the creation of another force, IRNA reported.

"Principlists do not pay attention to civil rights and freedom of expression, while reformists have a lax attitude toward cultural issues," he said.

The lawmaker is also included in a joint list of candidates between reformists and pro-government groups, known as moderates, for this month's parliamentary elections. Motahhari said economy should be prioritized by representatives of the next Majlis, adding that they must also seek to strengthen the rule of law.

"We believe that the main priority of the tenth Majlis should be [preparing the ground for] economic boom and to help get the country out of recession," he said. "Secondly, we will seek to promote civil rights in domestic politics."

The Iranian parliament has 290 seats distributed in 207 constituencies. With 30 seats, Tehran sends the largest delegation from any constituency.

The Guardians Council, a clerical body comprised of 12 members and tasked with supervising the elections, announced on February 17 that it has approved 6,233 candidates from 12,123 individuals who registered to run for the parliamentary polls.

Those deemed eligible by the Guardians Council have one week from Thursday to launch their campaigns, heating up the race for the next parliament.

About 55 million Iranians with over 18 years of age are eligible to vote.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on Sunday at least three days are needed for the results of parliamentary elections in Tehran to be released.