Monday, May 30, 2005

Mo'in's Candidacy

Mustafa Mo'in, whose candidacy for President of Iran was initially rejected by the Council of Guardians but who was reinstated after intervention from Ayatollah Khamene'i, has confirmed he will stay in the race. Earlier speculation had him withdrawing to protest the regime's manipulation of the democratic process. Personally, I think he should have stayed out. A few weeks ago he and Mehdi Karrubi, the other lead Reformist, had reached a deal where whichever one was behind in the polls close to the election would withdraw to improve the other's chances. At least one poll I saw had Mo'in trailing Karrubi pretty badly, and if he's been hurt with the students, his main bloc of support, I don't see where his campaign is going. At this point he might simply be trying to keep the bully pulpit of a candidacy for as long as possible, or hoping that he can run as the guy the hard-liners were most afraid of.

Also noteworthy in this story - we see again the students' passionate opposition to any accomodation with the regime, while the politicians hope to use it to reform itself. This is the central issue both groups need to overcome if they hope to get anywhere.

UPDATE: MEMRI has a couple of old polls showing very different results with different samples. They also indicate there was no Mo'in-Karrubi deal as I suggested above, though I don't remember if I read that before or after this was published. Is it just me or are none of these guys running away with things? Anyway, let me also just say now that I have yet to see statistical confirmation of Rafsanjani's alleged lock on the race.


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