Rouhani wants free elections

Iran’s president lobbied on Thursday for more free and fair elections in Iran, saying moderate and reformist political factions should also be allowed to run in next month’s parliamentary elections. Hassan Rouhani’s speech, which was broadcast on state TV, was a stab at Iran’s constitutional watchdog, which has disqualified large numbers of moderates and reformists from running in the Feb. 26 vote. Rouhani said that “the Parliament is the house of the people, not a particular faction.” Rouhani, who took office on a pledge to bring about reforms, said elections are pointless if there are “no competitors” and that the upcoming balloting will be “the most important job ahead” that will reflect on his administration. He said that while religious and other minorities — such as Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians whose combined population in Iran numbers less than 500,000 — have four members in parliament in total, larger groups should also be represented”.


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