Iranian reformists are proposing a number of possible candidates for next year’s presidential elections, says Daryoosh Ghanbari, a spokesman for Parliament’s minority faction.
ILNA quoted Ghanbari today saying: “Reformists cannot remain indifferent to the presidential elections.”
The reformist MP added: “Without delay, reformists need to prepare for the presidential campaign and announce their candidates.”
Ghanbari went on to say that former vice-president Mohammadreza Aref; Abdollah Noori, a former interior minister in Mohammad Khatami’s administration; Kamal Kharrazi, also a foreign minister in Khatami’s administration, and Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the late leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, are all being discussed as possible presidential candidates for the reformist faction.
Ghanbari maintained that the reformists must participate in the presidential elections in a more organized way than they did in the March parliamentary elections.
Many reformist groups boycotted the parliamentary elections to protest the continued arrest of top reformist figures and the house arrest of reformist presidential candidates MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. Some reformists, however, did choose to run in the elections and, most controversially, former president Mohammad Khatami cast a vote in the elections, although many had called for a reformist boycott of the elections.
“As the reformists organizations have suffered a kind of fragmentation, prior to finding a specific candidate, better organization must be the first item on our agenda.” Ghanbari added.
Earlier, Mohammadreza Khabbaz, a member of the National Trust reformist party, had said that former president Khatami was the best choice to unite reformists for the coming presidential elections.
After the 2009 presidential elections, when reformist candidates challenged the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with allegations of vote fraud, the government cracked down on reformist figures and organizations, and arrested protesters who had joined mass demonstrations across the country demanding a recount.
The reformists have thus been fragmented and also lost much of their popular appeal for their failure to realize any change in the political and public arenas.