Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iranian President's Party to Participate in Parliamentary Elections - 2004-02-09

Officials from the moderate political party of Iran's president say the party will participate in the coming parliamentary election, despite a vow by Iran's largest pro-reform party to stage a boycott.

Officials of the Association of Combattant Clerics say their candidates will run in Iran's February 20 parliamentary election, despite of the ongoing controversy.

Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, is a member of the party made up of reformists, including Islamic clerics. Last month, the party threatened to boycott the election if the sweeping ban on reformist candidates was not overturned.

But this week, President Khatami pledged to go ahead with the elections, as ordered by Iran's supreme leader, even though most of the candidates are still banned.

Iran's Guardian Council disqualified more than 3,000 mostly reformist candidates who wanted to run for parliament. After two reviews of the decision, more than 2,000 are still banned.

The Guardian Council is an oversight board of 12 conservative Islamic clerics and lawyers.

Their decision angered reformists. More than 120 members of parliament resigned, and Iran's largest pro-reform party, headed by President Khatami's brother, Mohammad Reza Khatami, said it will boycott the election.

Iran's reformists have had to decide whether to participate in what they see as an unfair election, or to boycott and possibly ensure that conservatives take control of Iran's parliament.