Friday, January 25, 2008

Disqualified Reformists

RFE-RL reports on the disqualification of reformist candidates for Iran's forthcoming parliamentary elections:
"Iranian reformists on January 22 reported that many registered candidates for parliamentary polls scheduled for March have been disqualified, Radio Farda reported that day, citing Iranian agency reports. A spokesman for the Reformist Coalition Headquarters, Abdollah Naseri, said the disqualified candidates include members of the last, reformist-dominated parliament, and of the Participation Front and the Islamic Revolution Mujahedin Organization -- two reformist parties that have publicly criticized the government of Mahmud Ahmadinejad. The registrants were disqualified by electoral executive boards appointed by the Interior Ministry to check candidates' backgrounds. The head of the Interior Ministry's election headquarters, Alireza Afshar, earlier said that 3,000 hopefuls had criminal or legal records of varying gravity (see "RFE/RL Newsline," January 22, 2008). The records of some former lawmakers might include prosecution on slander-related charges for critical speeches they made in parliament and elsewhere. Tehran-based academic Sadeq Zibakalam told Radio Farda that 'clearly...the governing system is very serious about the disqualifications.'"

This report didn't actually provide numbers to get a sense of how things stand.



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