Economy a Major Concern of Reformists

Economy a Major Concern of ReformistsEconomy a Major Concern of Reformists

A senior reformist official said economic difficulties, people's livelihood and high unemployment rate will be major concerns for reformist lawmakers in the next Majlis.

Mohammad Reza Aref, the head of Reformist Policymaking Council, made the statement in an election meeting in East Azarbaijan Province on Monday, as the countdown has begun to the second round of parliamentary polls on Friday, IRNA reported.

Pointing to reformists' slogan for the legislative vote, "hope, calm and economic welfare", Aref said the next Majlis should take practical steps toward fulfilling these national demands.

The reformist figure said the next parliament should also take effective measures against corruption and provide workable solutions for advancement of the country.

Aref hoped the Majlis, taking advantage of national solidarity, will help the government achieve the country's development goals.

The closing ceremony for the incumbent parliament is scheduled for May 24 and the next one will open on May 28.

The first round of elections was held on February 26, in which 34 million voters, out of 55 million eligible people, cast their ballots in 207 constituencies across 31 provinces, a 62% turnout.

The results showed that no side could secure the majority in the first round. Principlists had gained 46% of the votes, reformists garnered 37.5% and the remaining 16.5% belonged to government backers and independents. In the capital Tehran, the largest and most important constituency, reformists allied with pro-government forces to deal a major blow to rival principlists and won all the 30 seats.

In view of the fact that the last three parliaments were dominated by principlists, the polls produced impressive gains for reformists.

It is yet to be determined if any side will gain the majority, as in 55 constituencies where nobody could not garner the required 25% of the votes, runoffs will be held.

  Looking to Extend Gains  

Aref, who topped the list of election winners in the capital, urged people to "land the step" they took in the primary votes by widespread participation in the second round.

"Heavy voter turnout will generate extra motivation for officials to serve [Iranians]," he said. "With glorious and informed participation of the Iranian people, we hope to see the same trend of the Feb. 26 elections on April 29."

The one week campaigning period for 136 hopefuls started Thursday midnight, marking the start of their race for 68 vacant seats.

Mohammad Hossein Moqimi, head of the Election Headquarters, said in an interview on Thursday that 17 million Iranians in 21 provinces are eligible to cast ballots in 15,350 polling stations.