Iranian MP Ali Motahari spoke out against the sweeping disqualifications issued by the Guardian Council, saying the elimination of candidates will not be a source of strength for Iranian society. He added, however, that he will not boycott the elections.

Ali Motahari

Ali Motahari

Motahari, who has been disqualified and has filed an appeal, has been quoted as saying that even if his appeal is not approved, he will not subscribe to a policy of boycotting the elections.

ILNA reported on Thursday that in a speech at a meeting of the Party for Democracy, Motahari said the policy of candidate elimination is to the detriment of the country. Motahari said: “Forcing representatives on the public, however righteous the MP may be, will stunt public and social growth.”

He stressed that the will of the public, whether mistaken or not, must be followed.

The Guardian Council has denied eligibility to over 80 percent of more than 12,000 candidates who registered to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Most of those disqualified are reportedly candidates close to reformist forces.

Motahari stressed that complaints need to be lodged through legal channels.

He maintained, however, that boycotting elections has been counterproductive, saying the current Parliament, which is a product of a reformist boycott, is proof of that.

“If the reformists had not boycotted the elections,” Motahari said, “we would have had a better Parliament.”

The Iranian president has also spoken out against the disqualification of reformists, saying the council should not eliminate a group with so much widespread support across the country.