Principlist Presidential Victory Needs Convergence

Principlist Presidential Victory Needs ConvergencePrinciplist Presidential Victory Needs Convergence

A principlist politician said victory in the May 19 presidential race is within principlists’ reach, only if his comrades get together and learn from past mistakes.

“We support a principlist electoral coalition and will make efforts to turn it into a reality,” said Masoud Zaribafan, secretary-general of the Islamic Revolution’s Loyalists Front.

“Given the fact that the winner of 2013 elections succeeded with a razor-thin margin, I believe principlists can prevail this time, if they act a bit smartly.”

Zaribafan said the camp’s leaders should not repeat “mismanagements” that led to the 2013 defeat and avoid “tribalism and traditional tactics”.

Hassan Rouhani won the presidential race in 2013 by securing just over 50% of the ballots. He avoided a runoff, after reformist candidate, Mohammad Reza Aref, withdrew in his favor on the eve of elections.

Zaribafan said he does not believe that principlists should “field only one candidate” to win.

“It is not a rule that one candidate means victory and several means defeat,” he said.  

“We believe it cannot be known who can earn more votes [in the May elections] by holding a session behind closed doors. There are figures who can attract votes that may go for Rouhani. We should let them enter the race”.

Rouhani has been quiet on his candidacy in the upcoming elections, but he is being regarded as a clear-cut contender, as all Iranian presidents who finished their first term have been reelected to another four-year term and reached the limit of eight consecutive years of presidency.

Ahmad Nikfar, a member of the Islamic Society of Engineers, said earlier this month that representatives of principlist parties are holding regular meetings under the watch of Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi-Kermani, secretary-general of the Combatant Clergy Association, to prepare the ground for the principlist coalition.

Nikfar said the coalition’s pick for carrying the principlist banner in the presidential marathon will be introduced in a countrywide congress.

Although principlists are still weighing options for the next presidential polls, reformist politicians seem to have reached consensus over backing the incumbent president’s reelection.

Candidates for the next presidential elections can sign up from April 11 to 15 and those who successfully pass the vetting process of the Guardians Council will have 20 days to start their electoral campaigns, from April 28 to May 17.

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