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Eyes turn to the next parliamentary elections in Iran, Principlists have more hopefulness

The eleventh Islamic Parliament elections in Iran will be on February 21, 2020, across the country. Seyed Salaman Samani spokesman of Interior Ministry said in an interview that has published on the official website of the ministry.

About 7 months have remained for the elections in Iran, but the politicians and parties have started to organize their campaigns and planning for victory.

The current parliament was formed from 41 percent Reformers and Moderates, 29 percent Principlists or right-wing, 28 percent Independents and 2 percent Minorities, according to the ISNA News Agency.

In, Tehran, the capital of the country, all seats were gained by the Reformers, but some important cities such as Mashhad as the second city in the country, the Principlists were decisive winners.

But there are serious dissatisfactions from the majority of people and political activists about the function of the parliament, even some experts emphasized on the famous slogan that says “Reformers, Principlist, the story is over.”

This situation has formed while the Iran Parliament has been under control between two sides in past years. So, some experts seek up the Third Faction for improving the country’s position, but so far the Third Faction has had not a leader and specific structure.

Because of the Reformers supporting President Hassan Rouhani in the last presidential elections in Iran and lack of his rhetorics realization, the position of the Reformers has weakened increasingly.

For example, Rouhani said during the contests of the presidential elections about 2 years ago in Iran television that If Iranians re-elect me, all sanctions even non-nuclear sanctions will be lifted. But now, the sanctions against Iran have increased and the economic situation of the people has hurt extremely.

More recently, many celebrities have regretted supporting Rouhani like Ali Karimi the former football player and Reza Sadeghi the famous singer, they demonstrated their regret on social media.

So, some Iranian analyzers predicate the victory of Principlists in the upcoming Iran elections 2020 on February 21. “The Principlists does not need to do something, and they are comfortably the winner of the next parliamentary elections in Iran.” Sadegh Zibakalam said in an interview with Shargh newspaper in Iran. Zibakalam is an Iranian academic, author described as reformist and neoliberal.

“We have no chance for parliamentary elections and next presidential elections unless a miracle happens,” he added.

The Iranian Principlists are closer to the leader and Islamic revolution guard corps than the Reformers. A political face in the right-wing like Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf with the slogans “New Parliament” and “Neo-Principlism” has presented a website and he has published an invitation for young people to receive their ability to provide the elections list. Ghalibaf launched his third presidential campaign for the Iranian presidency on April 15, 2017, but on 15 May 2017, Ghalibaf withdrew but supported Ebrahim Raisi who is the current chief of Iran’s judiciary.

Another face is the former president Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad. Some experts say Ahmadinezhad has a great plan for the next Iran elections, but so far he has not spoken about it. Recently he criticized toughly from the government of Rouhani and Iran’s Judiciary. Recently, some of his close activists arrested by Iran’s Judiciary, and they are in Evin Prison now.

Some analyzers say Ahmadinezhad has a high popularity, like that the people have welcomed warmly lately on his travels across the country.

JAMNA or “Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces” is another chance for Principlists in the next Iran elections 2020. JAMNA founded in late 2016 by ten figures from different spectrums of conservative factions, in the end, the party elected Ebrahim Raisi as a candidate for the presidential election but Raeisi defeated.

But Reformers are not hopeless quite, Mohammad Khatami as the leader of the Reformers, who served as the fifth President of Iran from 1997 to 2005 has said statements recently. He has wanted from the government to qualify the Reformers candidates for participation in the political event.

One of the Reformer’s big problems in the history of elections in Iran has been the disqualifications by the Guardian Council. According to the Iran constitution, all candidates of presidential or parliamentary elections in Iran, as well as candidates for the Assembly of Experts, have to be qualified by the Guardian Council to run in the parliamentary elections in Iran.

Some Reformers in reformist newspapers states that reformers will take part in the parliament elections on this condition that the majority of Reformers’ candidates will be qualified by the Guardian Council.

Of course, the Iran parliament has not enough power in order to improve the country’s situation. For example, the parliament has approved the bill of “United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime” by a 126 vote in June 2018, but the Guardian Council has disagreed with it and its fate shall determine by Expediency Discernment Council while the government has frequently emphasized on the bill.

The government believes the approving the bill will cause to reduction in the bans about the economic transaction with the world.

Generally, Iran’s economic position is very critical currently, tough sanctions by the America administration and the defeat of the nuclear deal (JCPOA) have caused that Iranians to be under serious problems. The stuff prices and inflation are at the highest level since Iran’s revolution in 1979. So, it seems any faction that focuses on solving the economic problems, has more chance for victory in the parliamentary elections. But the more important issue is the participation rate of people. If dissatisfactions about economic problems will be continued,  hope and joy between people would reduce and this would decrease the rate of Participation in the next elections.

Some experts say based on experiences in Iran, when the rate of participation in the elections is reduced, the Principlists has a more chance for the victory, because the Gray Spectrum usually has a willing to the Reformers, the spectrum includes younger people even teenagers in the urban society, they back away little themselves from Principlists. Some political observers say the Gray Spectrum has not very willing to participate in the next elections. Of course, the future situation, especially in the economic field is very important to make the willingness about the Gray Spectrum to participate.

Also, some political experts believe the winner of the presidential elections in 2 years later is the winner of the parliamentary elections on February 21, 2020, because the majority of the next parliament will affect the political space across the country. Usually, this procedure in Iran has precedent, like that victory of the Reformers in the last parliamentary elections in Iran that caused the Rouhani victory 2 years ago.

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Mohammad Javad Mousavizadeh
Mohammad Javad Mousavizadeh
A journalist from Iran, a press translator, and writer for Iranians newspapers. A contributor to The Eastern Herald.

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