Behind the Curtain | Principlist Rivalries in 2d Round of Parliamentary Elections
by ARASH KARAMI and NEGAR MORTAZAVI
04 May 2012 09:42
List of candidates from the Stabiliy Front. The text suggests that the Supreme Leader approves of Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi's "insight" and that Mesbah Yazdi "prefers" the candidates from the Stability Front.
Of the seats that will be contested Friday, 25 are in the Tehran electoral district, for which 50 candidates will be competing. Tehran Governor-General Morteza Tamaddon, in his last electoral address, said that all forces are trying their best to stage a healthy election. He emphasized that if anyone tries to force others to vote for any specific candidate, they will be confronted by the law.
These parliamentary elections have largely been boycotted by the reformists. The main rivalry has been between two principlist groups: one, under the supervision of Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, that goes by the name of Jebheh Mottahed-e Osoolgarayan (United Front of Principlists); the other, whose spiritual leader is Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, known as Jebheh Paaydaari (Stability Front, or Durable Front). Supporters of each camp have resorted to letter-writing campaigns. The latest epistle was written by a group of students from Imam Sadegh University, where Mahdavi Kani serves as chairman. The letter accuses the Stability Front of thinking of Mesbah Yazdi as the Deputy Supreme Leader -- that is, of having designs on being the next Supreme Leader. There has not been a Deputy Supreme Leader since Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri was ignominiously demoted from the position in 1989.
Copyright © 2012 Arash Karami and Negar Mortazavi