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EghtesadOnline: High voter participation in the upcoming parliamentary election is a top priority of the pro-reform Democracy Party, its secretary-general said at a press conference on Sunday.

Reformist lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian laid down the main policies of his party for the February parliamentary election, stressing the faction's main concern is to see a bigger voter turnout, IRNA reported.

"We are against turning our back to elections," referring to calls by some figures for the boycott of the parliamentary election due to the poor performance of reformists’ allies in the government.

The 11th round of parliamentary poll is to be held on Feb. 21, 2020, in which candidates will compete for 290 seats, Financial Tribune reported.

Turnout was significant in the 2016 election, in which the reformists won all 30 seats in the influential Tehran constituency, up from just two. The election saw overwhelming support for the reformists who decided to retain their backing for Hassan Rouhani in the 2017 presidential reelection. They threw their weight behind his bid to foster international relations following the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The pro-reform camp is feeling threatened, as Rouhani’s mediocre record in the past four years has dampened the spirits of the party's main supporters.

 

 

 

Aiming for Single List 

Kavakebian said other than encouraging people’s participation, reformists will also try to agree on one single list of candidates for the public to vote for. 

"We will issue a single list if at least 20 of our candidates [in the Tehran constituency] are approved". Although the Oversight Board of Guardians Council is the main body in charge of vetting candidates, this year the Interior Ministry's executive boards disqualified a host of senior reformist nominees very early in the election process.

Kavakebian sent mixed signals on the Interior Ministry's strict treatment of pro-reform candidates. After conditioning the formulation of a list on the approval of at least 20 reformists, he said, "Our priority is to include reformists in the list, but if they are not approved, we will include candidates with other affiliations."

The formulation of a single list proved fruitful for the reformist party in the last election. This year they have decided to perfect the practice by launching the Reformist Survey System to measure the pulse of their constituency. 

The proposal was presented by the Union of Islamic Iran People Party. RSS is a website that allows reformists to vote on who gets to be included in this year's list. 

 

Iran Mostafa Kavakebian Priorities parliamentary election Election Turnout Reformist Party voter participation Democracy Party