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Unofficial Govt. Meddling in Majlis Election Unlawful: MP

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TEHRAN, June 11 (ICANA) – As the Iranian Majlis (parliament) election is slated for March 2012, some members of government’s camp are reportedly attempting to win more parliamentary seats.
Saturday, June 11, 2011 8:32:10 PM
Unofficial Govt. Meddling in Majlis Election Unlawful: MP

In an interview with Khabar Online, the Principalist lawmaker Gholamreza Mesbahi Moqaddam commented on what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed at a TV program that his administration was not involved in the upcoming Majlis election. Ahmadinejad further said only the Interior Ministry is an entity responsible for holding the parliamentary election and no one in the government is permitted to meddle in the pole. 

But Mr. Mesbahi Moqaddam, the head of a special Parliament committee tasked with considering the economic development plan said the president has established a three-member team to reach a consensus among the Principalists for the next round of Majlis voting. Moreover, other unofficial measures are being taken by the government from the side of those who are not unknown and use dubious financial sources to achieve their goal.

Following are the positions of Mesbahi Moqaddam who is also a member of Combatant Clergy Association on the electoral activities of Iran's administration, also the "deviant faction" [as the Principalists say is headed by Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, Ahmadinejad's top adviser and right-hand man], and the reformist faction. Earlier Mesbahi Moqaddam had  a row with Ahmadinejad over the method government had proposed for implementing subsidy reform plan, the biggest economic project executed by an Iranian government after the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

Q: What's your view about the efforts made by President Ahmadinejad for playing a role in the next round of Majlis election? His allies have established a three-member committee to make plans for the pole, while some are concerned about the formation of a solid parliamentarian majority by them. 

A: Due to the latest performance of the president, I should tell him and his aides "forget the old system of privileges and favors". The idea that president comes to the scene, or Mashaei will appear to the scene to back him is an absolute illusion. The same is true for what Abbas Amirifar [the prayer leader of the presidential office who was arrested for being involved in producing a controversial film on the impending return of Imam Mahdi (AS) as top clerics said the film shows nothing other than superstition] said about winning 150 seats of the Majlis. Essentially the government is not authorized to form a parliament and interfere in Majlis election. Based on the Islamic republic law, neither the president nor the governmental organizations are permitted to meddle in such election or use their financial sources and facilities for such purpose. Perhaps one could suggest that the Principalists' approach to the issue is also open to dispute. Of course the president had personally admitted that we have no right to interfere in parliamentary election, but who is not aware that he has initiated a strategy to do so. Although his move is unofficial and secretive, the political elites are informed about such machination.

Q: After various elections held in the country, new factions were formed within the Principalist camp, including the backers of Mr. [Mohammad Bagher] Ghalibaf (the current mayor of Tehran) and Mr. [Mohsen] Rezaei (former chief commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and the current secretary of the Expediency Council) during the past presidential polls. They established new factions on the threshold of the elections for the 8th Majlis. But when the names of some of their favorable candidates were not included in the united list of the Principalists, they decided to introduce a list of the independent Principalists. Is it possible that the same event is to be repeated?

A: We hope and expect it will not. There are positive signs that we won't witness the formation of separate faction within the Principalist camp. The advocates of Messrs. Ghalibaf and Rezaei have expressed their willingness to join the all-embracing camp of the Principalists. 

Q: Is there any possibility that the government backers issue an independent list of their own?

A: Except those who were trying to shape a current in parallel with the Principalist camp, it's not unlikely that even the president's backers join the framework of Principalism. The experience of elections for The Islamic City Council of Tehran has already proved that their separation from the framework of Principalism will bring them no fruit. If they join the framework of Principlism, it will be all-embracing.

Q: But some believe that possibly the allies of Mr. Mashaei approach the reformists to shape a coalition with them and introduce a joint list of candidates

A; If the stance which Mr. Amirifar took due to his political immaturity is true which discloses their intention and practice, we have no concern for their unification with the reformist, but it's better for them to join the Principalists.

Q: Do you mean that in their campaign for the parliamentary election the reformists would have a chance?

A: At the moment one cannot predict their joint efforts. Actually it's possible that they embark on a non-organized move, or unclear organized move through introducing individual candidates in various towns whose political orientation is unknown. After winning seats in the Majlis they would be able to organize themselves.

Q: Is introducing the candidates with unknown political orientation aimed to pass the filter of the Guardian Council or winning more votes?

A: Both to be endorsed by the Guardian Council and receive more votes, in order to achieve this goal, they should introduce those whose positions are not transparent and have not taken a radical measure against the Islamic republic system. As a matter of fact we don't want the majlis to be totally comprised of the Principalist lawmakers. In recent times, the reformists who are present at the Majlis have taken fairly good positions towards the events and we are satisfied with their positions.

Q: What's your idea about drawing an analogy between Mr. Ahmadinejad and Bani Sadr [former Iranian president in 1980 whom was impeached by the Majlis and later fled the country]? Some believe if refusal from the rule of the jurisprudent (Velayat-e Faqih) is an unapproved action taken by political figures including [Mahdi] Karroubi and [Mir Hossein] Mousavi which led to their seclusion, or some call Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani [former president and the current head of the Islamic Republic's Expediency Council], the same approach should be adopted to Ahmadinejad, what do you think about the issue?

Messrs. Karroubi and Mousavi took measures which showed that in terms of politics and belief they do not adhere to Velayat-e Faqih and the Islamic Republic system, but Mr. Hashemi did not the same. Some may try to remove figures including Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami [former president] from the political scene of the country, but we don't have such position.

Considerations must be shown toward those who hold crucial posts, as it was shown during the presidency of Messrs Rafsanjani and Khatami. I was a critic of President Khatami but some believed that opposing him means opposing the Islamic Republic system. As the president he should have been supported as the leader of the Islamic revolution Ayatollah Khamenei also supported him and always was reiterating that he has to back the Islamic Republic's governments.

Similarly, the late Imam Khomeini backed Bani Sadr from the beginning to end. I remember a meeting attended by Imam Khomeini, Bani Sadr, Ayatollah Khamenei, Messrs. Ayatollah Mousavi Ardabili, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and some other top officials of the Islamic Republic of that time. After the meeting came to an end, I asked the incumbent leader whether Imam Khomeini does know about the measures adopted by Bani Sadr not. He answered that Imam is aware of everything but regarding this situation he doesn't want to shake the status of the first Islamic republic's president. For this reason although he knows everything, he keeps on supporting Bani Sadr.

Ayatollah Khamaeni adopts the same approach to Mr. Ahmadinejad as the president. It doesn't mean that if Ahmadinejad makes a mistake, he must be responded in a way which shakes his position. Definitely the leader does not intend to do so. The president must follow his proceedings until the last moment he has a responsibility and we should back him. However it doesn't mean that we approve with his conducts.

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