Mohammadreza Aref, the reformist candidate who withdrew from the 2013 presidential election in favour of the winner, Hassan Rohani, announced today that they are examining the establishment of a national party.
ILNA reports that Mohammadreza Aref said: “I have been given a proposal to create a national party, and the necessary preliminaries of such an objective are now underway.”
In a speech in Yazd, Aref said: “We have to create a party that would not fall apart as soon as its well-known figures become absent. The people should be its keepers.”
He stressed that Iran should never see a repetition of what happened to reformists in the 2003 and 2008 presidential elections, referring to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s back-to-back victories.
Aref emphasized that the reformists believe in “the Constitution, the system and its values, and this has been proven by their participation in the election.” He went on to add that with better organization, the 27 percent that did not take part in the election should be drawn back into the scene, adding that paying attention to their demands is key to success.
The reformists were heavily sidelined following the 2009 election, after reformist candidates and millions of people alleged that the vote had been rigged. The reformist candidates of 2009, MIrHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, remain under house arrest, and activists have high hopes that the election of a more centrist candidate may pave the way to their release as well as the release of other political prisoners.