IRMO backs Khatami presidency

July 1, 2008 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Mohammad Salamati of the reformist Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization (IRMO) declared on Monday that his group will back the candidacy of former reformist president Mohmmad Khatami in 2009 presidential elections.

“Like the Association of (Combatant) Clerics and certain reformist parties the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization has also made discussions in its meetings and reached the conclusion” of baking Khatami, IRMO secretary general Mohammad Salamati told the Mehr News Agency.
First vice president Mohammad-Reza Aref in the Khatami administration and Mohammad Ali Najafi of the Servants of Construction Party are cited as potential candidates if Khatami does not run for election.
Mohammad Khatami who was president from 1997 to 2004 has sent mixed signals about his willingness to run for the next year’s presidential election.
In a short interview with reporters he said “I have retired”. However, in a recent visit to Oslo, Norway, he told reporters, “Unfortunately, in the political sphere there is no retirement ... When we can be active, we will be active.”
Salamati said IRMO has discussed the issue of presidential election in different sessions and finally reached a consensus on the candidacy of Khatami.
The Coordination Council of Reformist Front, headed by Salamati, Sunday night held talks on the next presidential elections.
“In this meeting there was an insistence on active involvement of the Coordination Council of Reformist Front in future presidential election, and it was agreed that different committees become active in this regard.”
Salamati said the leaders of reformist parties or groups will meet on Thursday, July 3, to exchange views and make decisions about election.
“In this session the reformist parities will decide about drawing up a unified mechanism for a better presence in the presidential elections.”
In the meeting the party leaders may also reach a consensus on a single candidate, he noted.
“Since each of the reformist parties have reached a conclusion about fielding a candidate this meeting can also lead to the adoption of a unified decision by these groups.”
Salamati said the coordination council has not yet reached any discussions about fielding a particular person for presidential post.
He added what is now more important is how the reformists should approach the election and draw up a unified and efficient strategy.
On the possibility of reaching a consensus on a single candidate in Thursday’s meeting, he said since the reformists have gained enough experiences in recent elections and are ready to show flexibility, it is possible that they agree on a particular person for the post.
SCP no decided yet on presidential candidacy
Meanwhile, Hossein Mar’ashi, the spokesman for the Servants of Construction Party, said he will not make any statement about the candidacy of Khatami until the former president officially announces his readiness to contest the elections.
Mar’ashi said the SCP is now busy drawing up a strategy for the election and has not still entered the dialogue for studying persons for candidacy.
The former lawmaker said all reformist groups are now waiting a plan for a coalition in the next year’s elections.
He said no SCP member has so far expressed readiness for candidacy and Mohammad-Ali Najafi has also not made his mind in this regard so far