Iranian reformists have scaled down their expectations for parliamentary elections next month after the authorities disqualified most of their candidates including some MPs and the “Father of the Islamic Republic”, Ayatollah Khomeini's grandson. In Iran, candidates must first be approved before they can be elected by the public.
While many of these unapproved candidates have “served” the Islamic State for years, the authorities apparently now considered that their faith in Islam and belief in the regime, could not be proven. Former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami called such disqualifications a disaster. Free and fair elections have been a very rare event in Iranian history, and the country has not had one in last 25 years.
Several bloggers including reformist politicians share their ideas about elections.
Game is over before election
Mohmmad Ali Abtahi, former vice president and blogger, thinks that most of the parliament’s members are chosen before the election even takes off. The blogger writes:
… many believe there is no use in negotiations. I, of course, still believe that such literature is meaningless in the present government, which wishes to handle the issues without any disturbance. We have to select anonymous candidates who are not on the opposition list, and show that their plot to omit everyone except their group is defeated.
Akbar Montakhabi writes [Fa]:
Don’t be shocked. It had been clear that most reformist candidates would be disqualified. But we should participate in the election and vote for candidates who are against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government.
A crisis coming soon
Ahmad Shirzad, former reformist MP and blogger says [Fa] it seems that people who are in power do not want to give their place in a democratic way to others. He adds that maybe such actions can work out in the short term, but predicts it will create a political crisis in the long term.
Omid Memarian says [Fa] it is interesting that many people who are disqualified, are devoted to the Islamic Republic but do not support Ahmadinejad’s policies. The blogger adds that a parliament that obeys the Iranian president and offers no creativity, is harmful for everyone.
The blogger has interviewed several people from different political factions in Iran and all have warned about the mass disqualification of candidates.
To vote or not to vote
Jomhour says [Fa] these disqualifications communicate a message from the authoritarian forces of the country: We are not changing. The blogger says that rhetoric saying everyone should participate in the elections under any circumstances is ridiculous and irrational.
A group of bloggers who call themselves “Yahoo 360 bloggers” wrote an open letter to the candidates of the reformist movement and asked them several questions about their objectives if elected: “What is your program to end discrimination between genders, to promote foreign investment, to support NGOs and to respect human rights,” are some key questions asked by these bloggers.
Dozens of bloggers have supported this initiative.
Pluralism, a dangerous game
Mehrr, a conservative blogger, says[Fa] reformists are a danger to society. The blogger adds:
Reformists want to promote human rights in this country. Human rights is a concept created by Imperialism for its own interests.
The blogger claims reformist journals support things that are in contradiction with Islamic values, such as pluralism.
As an Iranian citizen, I wish the Iranian reformists and conservatives destroy each other and get weaker everyday. They are both the same. None of them are people’s candidates. They are deceiving people over and over. They both are enemies of Iranian people. The islamic government is isolating Iran from the outside world and has turned Iran to an unlivable place. Everyone wants to get out of Iran. I want my country back from these islamic tyrants. I hope one day Iran is free of all these religious dictators and become a peaceful and beautiful place to live. Wish for FREE IRAN. Down with the Islamic Regime.