Spotlight: Iranian political parties vying for parliamentary seats ahead of election

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-19 00:49:07|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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TEHRAN, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- As the Iranian parliamentary election is set to fall on Friday, main streets of the capital Tehran are taking on a new look with signs displaying campaign slogans.

Different political factions have been competing for influence while announcing their arrangements of candidates and programs.

The reformists, as the supporters of the incumbent administration, are mainly represented by Kargozaran Sazandegi (Servants of Construction) and Etelaf Barayeh Iran (Coalition for Future of Iran).

In the candidate list of Kargozaran Sazandegi, what grabs attention most is prominent cleric Majid Ansari. Ansari, was formerly vice president for legal affairs in the administration of Hassan Rouhani. He is currently a member of the Iran's Expediency Council.

Etelaf Barayeh Iran's list serves as an umbrella term for the candidates from eight different parties and groups. Some figures, including sitting reformist lawmakers Alireza Mahjoub and Mostafa Kavakebian, the secretary general of Mardomsalari Party (Democracy Party), are among the senior candidates of the list.

"Despite some weaknesses in the management of the current economic condition of the country, moderates and reformists' participation in the political scene of the country has provided more social and cultural freedom for the people," civil servant Maryam Nazari said.

"I will vote for the reformists, though I am critical of the economic policies of them," she said.

In the meantime, the principlists and those parties which have been seriously criticizing the current government, have presented a united list titled Iran-e Sarboland (Proud Iran), with Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf heading the list. Qalibaf was Tehran's mayor for 12 continuous years.

Another group of the principlists has presented a list titled Jebhey-e Paydari (Resilience Front). Morteza Aqa Tehrani is heading the list. Aqa Tehrani represented Tehran in the 8th and 9th Majlis. He is now the secretary general of the hardline Jebhey-e Paydari Party.

"I am supporting a Majlis which has the power and authority to challenge the drawbacks in the internal and external policies of the administration by scholarly advice and practical laws," Mahdi Eslamkhah, who majored in international relations, said.

Eslamkhah noted that the current parliament, dominated by the modernists and their fellow reformists, was mainly in compliance with the policies of Rouhani's administration and "failed" to act as a powerful body to protect the economic interests of working class.

According to Tehran Times daily, a survey showed that 57 percent of the electorate will vote for the Iran-e Sarboland list led by Qalibaf.

Only 27 percent of the people will vote for reformists and pro-government candidates, who are backed by former president Mohammad Khatami, according to the survey.

Iranians will go to the ballot boxes on Friday to elect the lawmakers for a 290-seat parliament. Nearly 58 million Iranians are eligible to vote in the 11th round of parliamentary elections.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the Iranians to actively participate in the upcoming election.