Pro-reform political fronts back Rafsanjani in Iran presidential election
Azerbaijan, Baku, May.15/ Trend F.Karimov/
Pro-reform Islamic Iran Participation and the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization fronts have declared they will support Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the upcomg presidential election in Iran, the Noruz website reported.
Rafsanjani, who has been Iran's president twice, joined this year's race at the last minute. He was elected chairman of the Iranian parliament in 1980 and served until 1989. Rafsanjani also served as president of Iran from 1989 to 1997.
Despite the ruling conservatives, Iran's major reformist leader, ex-president Mohammad Khatami announced his support for Rafsanjani on May 11.
At the elections, Rafsanjani, if approved by Iran's Guardian Council, will have strong rivals in Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, and the head of presidential office of current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei.
Many of members of Islamic Iran Participation and the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization fronts were arrested and jailed after unrests duirng the previous presidential election in 2009.
The Islamic Iran Participation front has referred to the upcoming presidential race as a "historical opportunity" for holding a "healthy, free, and competetive" election.
The Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization front has said in a statement that "the gap between the government and the public has reached its peak, so that distrust toward the administration has never been so high."
"The Iranian society is facing with vast violation of legal freedom, intense law breaking, extreme censorship, and harsh economic, social, and political situations after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, which is a fruit of taking inefficient approaches by the ruling system in the past," the statement added.
The Islamic Iran Participation and the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization fronts had supported oppostion leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi in the past presidential election.
Mousavi was placed under house arrest after his supporters staged protests on February 14, 2011 which left two people dead and several others injured.
Iran will hold the 11th presidential election on June 14, 2013.
The voters will select the successor of the current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is not able to participate in the elections for the third term according to the country's constitutional laws.
The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election and the Guardian Council vets the candidates for qualifications.