Reformists, Moderates Focused on Crucial Majlis Runoffs

Reformists, Moderates Focused on Crucial Majlis Runoffs

A leading reformist who topped Tehran's list of winners in the first round of the parliamentary vote last month said his camp's performance in the runoff is deemed crucial, as it will decide the final makeup of the next parliament.
"The second round of the election is more important than the first one," IRNA quoted Mohammad Reza Aref as saying in a speech to a gathering of the reformist-moderate coalition in Tehran on Saturday.
"To complete our victory and push through our plans in the Majlis, we need to secure a significant majority, which is contingent on our performance in the second round."
In the capital Tehran, the most influential constituency that holds 30 of the total 290 parliamentary seats, the government-allied coalition of reformists and moderates scored a resounding victory against rival conservatives.
Neither faction was able to record a decisive win in other constituencies across the country, in 69 of which runoffs are scheduled for late April to decide 59 vacant seats as candidates failed to secure the required 25% of the first-round vote.
Aref emphasized that a reformist-dominated parliament is crucial to the reformist cause of contributing to government's plans to create a thriving economy by tackling economic woes, generating employment and stepping up the fight against poverty and corruption.
"We need to win at least 40 additional seats in the second round," the former vice president under reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, said.
Aref cautioned fellow members and followers of the coalition against any comment or action likely to jeopardize their alliance that led them to the Feb. 26 landslide.
"The key to the coalition's victory was the solidarity between reformists and government supporters and we have managed to preserve it so far. Any move that might undermine our performance in the second round should be avoided," he said.


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