The Principalists, the chief conservative faction of the Iranian establishment, have organized a group to prevent any possible “illegal” interference in next year’s parliamentary election by the government.
A spokesman for the Principalists told ISNA: “Establishing this group does not mean that it will interfere in the election; it is there to make sure the government acts appropriately.” He added that governors and other top administrators will be monitored during the parliamentary elections to assist the government in overseeing a clean election.
Iran will hold a parliamentary election next March. During the controversial election of 2009, which led to widespread protests following allegations of vote rigging, reformists had also established a Committee for the Protection of Votes, which was heavily criticized by the government.
A number of Iranian media outlets have already reported on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opposition to several of the possible candidates put forth for the supervisory group.
Principalist MP Asadollah Badamchian has said: “The government, especially those close to the president, must refrain from any activities that might even appear to affect the ninth parliamentary election.”
Other Principalist MPs have also expressed concern about possible interference. Norollah Heydari criticized the government money that is distributed to various parts of the country under the guise of New Years presents, as well as other funding transfers aimed at influencing the election outcome in favour of the current administration.