Rafsanjani Calls for Bolstering Political Factions

Rafsanjani Calls for Bolstering Political FactionsRafsanjani Calls for Bolstering Political Factions

The chairman of Expediency Council underscored the need for bolstering domestic political factions.

Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told a gathering of the heads of reformist parties on Monday that "collective wisdom" must be taken into account in government decisions.

"To promote the role of collective wisdom, political parties, which represent various groups of people in society, should be strengthened," IRNA quoted him as saying.

Rafsanjani, who is also a former president, said parties should promote unity among themselves and also across the country to increase their influence.

"In the absence of major parties, factions should get together at the House of Parties and avoid divisive language that harms the country," he said.

The House of Parties resumed activities last year, with a new management mechanism that rotates its leadership among political camps. The incumbent government has announced plans to promote parties, including one to subsidize factions and another to hold partisan elections.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani urged parties to prepare for a strong presence in the upcoming presidential and city council elections.

"We should encourage people to participate in elections to consolidate the foundations of the system," he said.

The two upcoming elections will be held simultaneously on May 19, 2017.

Candidates for the presidential polls can sign up from April 11 to 15 and those who successfully pass the vetting process of the Guardians Council, a body tasked with supervising polls, will have 20 days to mount their electoral campaigns, from April 28 to May 17.

Candidates of city council elections will have one week to sign up from March 20 to 26 and campaign during May 11-17.