Reformists Have Big Plans for Presidential Poll

Reformists Have Big Plans for Presidential PollReformists Have Big Plans for Presidential Poll

A lawmaker stated that the reformist camp has gained a wealth of past experiences and is moving toward maximum cohesion in order to make gains in the upcoming presidential election.

Mahmoud Sadeqi, the head of the Council for Coordinating the Reforms Front, made the statement on Monday in an interview with IRNA.

"The reformist faction has exerted a great deal of effort to bring about the utmost voter turnout and many arrangements have been made in provinces across the country with electoral purposes," he said.

The lawmaker noted that reformists aim to use their practical knowledge to promote unity and predicted that President Hassan Rouhani will be reelected since a majority of Iranians have a favorable opinion about him.

Rouhani, who assumed office in August 2013 after winning the presidential race two months earlier, has been announced by the reformist party as the preferred nominee in the next month's elections.

Reformists played a major role in Rouhani's victory in the 2013 elections by throwing their weight behind the moderate cleric.

"Our society, irrespective of all ups and downs on its way, is open to giving this opportunity to the incumbent president so that the outstanding achievements of his government, especially in foreign policy and for economic stabilization, will last longer," he said.

A nuclear agreement concluded with major world powers in 2015 is deemed as the biggest achievement of the Rouhani administration in the field foreign policy. The accord formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action came into force in January 2016 and removed nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in exchange for the Islamic Republic placing certain limits on its nuclear program.

Curbing the massive inflation is also among Rouhani's major economic achievements. Inflation exceeded over 40% under his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-13), while the current government has managed to bring the inflation rate down to a single-digit after 25 years.

  Frictions in Rival Camp

Sadeqi pointed to the conservative camp that is yet to decide their preferred candidate and said, "They [principlists] have not reached a consensus and frictions are evident among them, especially in the case of the former president's policies."

He stated that the more competitive the polls can get, the better the society's spirit and political maturity will be, and elections will be more meaningful.

Principlists and reformists are the main rivals in elections. Before Rouhani, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad served as Iran's president for two terms for eight years but he has decided not to join the race this time as he was advised by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei against running for president at present to avoid "polarizing" the society.  

Presidential elections are scheduled to be held on May 19. Those planning to contest the presidential race will sign up during April 11-15. Contenders will have 20 days to campaign from April 28 to May 17, if they pass the vetting process by the Guardians Council, the election watchdog.


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