Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, February 09, 2009

Iranian election campaign begins public phase

Iran's Khatami announces presidential plan

"Former President Mohammad Khatami, who pushed for detente with the West when in office from 1997 to 2005, said on Sunday he would run for the presidency again in June's election.

"The race will offer a stark choice for voters between Mr. Khatami and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [at left], whose first four years in office have witnessed a sharp deterioration in ties with the West as tensions over Iran's nuclear work mounted...

"Mr. Khatami worked for detente abroad and for political and social change at home while in office. But hardliners in charge of major levers of power in the Islamic Republic blocked many of his reforms, costing Mr. Khatami some key supporters.

"Mr. Ahmadinejad has faced mounting criticism over his economic management and surging inflation, which climbed to almost 30 per cent last year. Reformists, in particular, say his fiery foreign policy speeches have further isolated Iran..."


Former Iranian President Declares

"Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami announced Sunday that he will run as a candidate in the June 12 election, setting up a challenge to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that could alter Iran's domestic and foreign policies...

"Khatami, who served two terms as president, won with majorities made up mainly of youth and women. He promised to bring Iran out of its international isolation and pressed for more personal and legal freedoms. His proposed policies, while supported by parliament, were constantly opposed by political factions in the judiciary, the Revolutionary Guard Corps and influential clerical councils..."

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1 Comments:

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Iran Blocks Web Sites Promoting Reformist Khatami

"Iranian authorities have blocked two Web sites promoting the presidential bid of Mohammed Khatami, reformists said Saturday, in a first sign that powerful hard-liners might seek to thwart his challenge to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the June 12 election...

"His [Khatami's] candidacy poses a serious threat amid popular discontent with Ahmadinejad over the sagging economy, and the action against the Web sites came as Khatami named leaders in charge of his election campaign...

"Hard-liners have vowed they would never again allow reformists to take control of the government and have used the Guardian Council, an election watchdog that vets candidates, and other institutions they control to block reformists from gaining power. It is unclear if the Council will move to block Khatami's candidacy.

"Reformists have suffered setbacks in past years as hard-liners and conservatives have consolidated power. Hundreds of reformist newspapers have been shut down, and the Guardian Council barred thousands of reformist candidates from running in parliamentary elections in 2004 and 2008."

 

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