Iranian reformists are working toward consensus over a “single candidate” for the coming 2012 presidential election to “attract the majority of the vote and reclaim the executive power from Ahmadinejad supporters,” says the parliamentary adviser to the Expediency Council.
Ghodratollah Alikhani told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday: “We are discussing political figures in the reformist movement but we have not reached a final choice yet.”
Iran’s next presidential election is slated for June 2013.
So far, the name of Mohammadreza Aref has emerged as a strong choice for the reformist camp, which has been confirmed by Hassan Ghafourifard, a spokesman for the reformist Islamic Engineers Society.
Ghafourifard added that former president Mohammad Khatami and former interior minister Abdollah Nouri are highly unlikely to run in the coming election.
Analysts have also named Mohammad-bagher Ghalibof, the current mayor of Tehran, as the final candidate for the principalists, the conservative faction of the Islamic Republic.
Ahmadinejad supporters are trying to present Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, Ahmadinejad’s chief aide, as a presidential candidate.
Other possible candidates in the reformist camps are political activists Isaac Sajjadian and Mohammad Ali Najafi, linked to the Executives of Construction Party.
Iran’s last presidential election triggered mass protests, after reformist candidates challenged the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with allegations of vote fraud.
The government cracked down on protesters, killing and incarcerating many, and it has practically ousted the reformist camp from the political arena over the past three years.
The reformists candidates who ran in the 2009 presidential election are currently under house arrest.