Principlist Figures Form Broad-Based Alliance

Principlist Figures Form Broad-Based Alliance
Principlist Figures Form Broad-Based Alliance

A new coalition named the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces announced its existence on Sunday, as Iran's political community gears up for the May 19 presidential polls.   

At a meeting in Tehran, 10 prominent figures close to the principlist camp appeared as the founding members of the alliance.

They included former health minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, Chairman of Tehran City Council Mehdi Chamran, former commerce minister and head of Tehran's Chamber of Commerce Yahya Al-e Eshaq, former education minister Hamidreza Haji Babaei, political analyst Mehdi Mohammadi, and film director Nader Talebzadeh.

Speaking at the meeting, Vahid Dastjerdi said the composition of the founding members shows the front represents various voices and it aims to ensure "all people from different walks of life are heard."

She said members of the front can be all who "believe in original values of the Islamic Revolution of 1979" and recognize that "serious action" is needed to deal with difficulties faced by the nation.

A statement issued by the front on Sunday said "economic problems, including high unemployment rate and the decline in people's purchasing power" and widespread corruption cases are "below dignity of revolutionary and devoted Iranian people."

  Plan for Polls

As the first step, the statement says the front will establish "the popular assembly of revolutionary forces" that using democratic methods will formulate its plans for the "highly important and decisive" presidential elections in May.

Dastjerdi said provincial meetings among members of the front will be held "in two weeks" to prepare the ground for creation of a nationwide assembly that meets "in five weeks".

Figures from the rival camp of reformists have repeatedly announced in recent months that they back reelection of the incumbent President Hassan Rouhani. Bahram Parsaei, spokesman for the "Hope" parliamentary faction that comprises reformists and government backers, told ISNA on Monday that "for now", reformists consider backing no other option than Rouhani, who won 2013 votes by hardly avoiding the need for a runoff.

The new front seems to have a tough job in creating a real challenge for Rouhani, as all Iranian presidents who finished their first term have been reelected to office.  

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


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