Sunday, October 10, 2004

Rafsanjani candidacy unlikely: IES official

Description of Selected News: "Rafsanjani candidacy unlikely: IES official

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- The secretary general of the Islamic Engineers Society (IES), Mohammad Reza Bahonar, said on Sunday that it does not seem very likely that all political groups will reach a consensus on nominating Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to be a candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

Referring to Rafsanjani’s announcement that he would accept the nomination if all political groups reached an agreement on his candidacy, Bahonar noted that the creation of a scenario with such dimensions, in which all political groups unanimously agreed on one candidate, does not seem plausible, and even if it did happen it would not be beneficial.

Bahonar, who is also a member of the Expediency Council, said that political groups must announce their programs as well as their candidates, adding that this is Iran’s first presidential election since the Islamic Republic’s Twenty-Year Outlook Plan was formulated and the candidates and the media should focus on the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan and the Twenty-Year Outlook Plan.

He went on to say that the appropriate time has arrived for the media to ask candidates about the strategies they would implement if they won the presidential election.

It is still a long time till the presidential election and since Iran has an election every year, the people cannot quickly leave the atmosphere of the previous election and enter the new atmosphere in a short period of time, Bahonar said.

Under the current circumstances, political circles should gather and discuss different candidates and evaluate their programs, he added.

On his recent meeting with Rafsanjani, Bahonar said that if there were more candidates there would be more supporters and therefore the race would be closer, but the number of candidates in the presidential election is limited.

On the possible candidacy of former prime minister Mir-Hossein Musavi, Bahonar said that Mousavi has not yet explicitly accepted or rejected the suggestion of some political parties and groups, but since he is the only preferred candidate of some political parties, he would certainly be under more pressure.

He stated that if Musavi agreed to become a presidential candidate, it would then be logical to discuss his nomination, but added that according to unconfirmed reports he has rejected the suggestion.

On the presidential candidate of the Islamic Engineers Society, Bahonar said that the IES is considering and examining different people, but its efforts are focused on coming to an agreement with the other groups on one particular candidate.

Meanwhile, Jamileh Kadivar, a member of the Central Council of the Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP), said on Sunday that the 2nd of Khordad Front has so far not fielded any candidate for the presidential election under the current circumstances, adding that Mir-Hossein Musavi has not yet made his decision and therefore there is no need to talk about other candidates.

On the meeting of President Mohammad Khatami and members of the Assembly of Combatant Clerics scheduled for Thursday, Kadivar said that everyone must patiently await the results of the meeting, but IIPP members are very optimistic that there will be a positive outcome."

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