Monday, 4 March 2013

Iran Live Coverage: Engineering June's Presidential Election

The Supreme Leader's senior aide Ali Akbar Velayati announces plans for the Presidential election at a Sunday press conference

0615 GMT: Economy Watch. A tantalising if brief note in the Tehran Times this morning:

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday chaired a meeting of a working group tasked with controlling the market.

Industry, Mines, and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari, Agriculture Minister Sadeq Khalilian, Economic Affairs and Finance Minister Shamseddin Hosseini, and Intelligence Minister Heydar Moselehi attended the meeting.

Issues related to controlling the market before the new Iranian year that begins on March 21, the prices of staples, and car prices were discussed at the meeting.

The Central Bank has put the official inflation rate at almost 33%. Other Iranian analysts, economists, and politicians say the figure --- especially for basic goods and commodities --- is far higher.

0555 GMT: Election Watch. The three-man committee, tasked by the Supreme Leader to find a "unity" candidate for June's Presidential election, tried to claim the initiative on Sunday with a press conference outlining three "working groups" covering domestic and international matters.

The Supreme Leader's senior aide, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, said, “If the coalition achieves victory in the upcoming election by the vote of the people, the working groups, whose responsibility has been taken over by the members of the coalition, will determine the main members of the next government."

Velayati said leading MP Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, a relative by marriage of the Supreme Leader, would be in charge of the cultural, scientific, and social working group, while Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf is responsible for the economic working group. Velayati will head the group dealing with political and international affairs.  

Velayati invited those who have the "necessary expertise and experience" to join the working groups "and announce their plans". 

In recent weeks, other conservative groups and individuals have announced intentions to contest the election, raising speculation whether the committee was losing control of the quest for "unity". Former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki  has announced he will stand as a candidate, while former Minister of Interior Mostafa Pourmohammadi is expected to do so.
Neither man is likely to win, but their declarations have raised prospects that other high-profile politicians will not follow the committee's line, at least at this point. The Supreme Leader's group also faces the escalating political tension with President Ahmadinejad, who is expected to back his own candidate in June.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping