Friday, February 08, 2008

Reformers are blocked in Iran

Feb 8th 2008From the Economist Intelligence
Unit ViewsWire
The parliamentary elections in March will not be free

The Iranian authorities are taking elaborate precautions to snuff out any possibility of a reformist revival in the Majlis (parliament) election that is scheduled to take place on March 14th. The odds on the current conservative majority being preserved in the new parliament have shortened, owing to the widespread disqualification of would-be candidates by the Ministry of Interior. By the end of January 2,400 out of 7,200 aspiring candidates for 290 parliamentary seats had been judged unsuitable by either the ministry or the powerful Guardian Council (GC), which vets candidates. In past elections, the interior ministry has removed only a limited number of people on technical grounds but this time has taken the lead in ruling out 2,100, while the GC barred an additional 300.

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