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Iranian voters endorse a stronger economy

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

03-02-2016 15:52 BJT

By Liu Lanyu, PhD Candidate of Department of International Relations, School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University

Iran's two key elections of the parliament and Assembly of Experts had ended on Feb. 26. Conservatives, reformists, and moderates are three major forces in political circles. The reformists and moderates had entered a coalition to challenge conservatives.

The conservatives' campaign slogan was "life, security and progress," while the war cry for reformists was "hope, peace and economic prosperity." Both sides had campaigned on economic issues, which concerned voters most of all. The final election results appeared satisfactory.

Iran's political system has embarked on the road of steadiness and democracy. Among 55 million eligible voters, 62 percent had voted in the elections.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that people's active participation showed bright prospects for the country's religious and democratic system. The reformists-moderates coalition had made compromises with conservatives on future political development. The weakening antagonism between different parties would ensure stability of the regime.

In 2013, Hassan Rouhani, from the moderates, was elected president with support from reformists. They united again this year. 90 percent of candidates from the reformists were not qualified to run for parliament. Hassan Khomeihi, supported by reformists and moderates, was also not allowed to campaign for the Assembly of Experts.

However, reformists didn't call on the public to boycott elections like they did before, but proposed a "hope list" of candidates they were willing to support along with the moderates. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, leaders of Green Movement who are under house arrest, had been approved to cast votes, which had received Khamenei's authorization.

The Supreme Leader Khamenei had permitted the reformists-moderates coalition to make new contacts with conservatives, as they helped to select new conservative leaders. Meanwhile, conservatives had pledged for more human rights to appease reformists.

Although the reformists-moderates coalition had captured 30 seats in the capital of Tehran, their powers were equal to the conservatives in the new parliament, which had ended a conservative-majority for the past three sessions.

The conservatives still hold on to a leading position in the Assembly of Experts, but reformists have greater influence now. Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and Rouhani have retained their posts in the Assembly of Experts.

There were signs that Iran has moved its policy focus from a revolutionary route towards boosting economic construction. The Rouhani administration will deal with moderates in a pragmatic manner, as well as with an opening up policy.

Rouhani has made many outstanding achievements since assuming office. He signed a nuclear deal, ended Western-imposed economic sanctions, strengthened diplomatic relations with Western countries, lowered inflation rates and jump-started an economic recovery. Accordingly, Iranian voters showed their strong support for Rouhani.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has endorsed smooth implementation of Rouhani's reform policies. Over the past two years, Khamenei had acquiesced to frequent contacts between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

In the second day after the election, he met the Swiss President and called for Switzerland to invest in Iran. Tehran has engaged in comprehensive development of the nation, which had been mentioned frequently in his speeches.

Western countries are beginning to hold more positive attitudes towards Rouhani's opening up policies, which have created a favorable external environment for Iran's reform policies.

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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