Dr. Sadegh Zibakalam, reformist activist, senior political analyst and political science lecturer at Tehran University assessed the state of the conservative principlists ahead of the presidential elections, saying that the conservative camp is divided by supporters and opponents of Ahmadinejad. These disputes existed in the presidential elections eight years ago, but the presence of a formidable rival such as Ayatollah Rafsanjani led to unity between these two camps. Ever since, there has been no visible unity since Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s influence and power has waned, and the reformists essentially no longer exist. According to Zibakalam, it will be extremely difficult to predict the winner of the upcoming elections, but what is clear is that Ahmadinejad will not easily give up (as did Khatami and Rafsanjani), since he will no longer be a senior official in Iran. Zibakalam further states that all conservatives who believe that Ahmadinejad will go quietly and teach in the University of Science and Technology after the elections or become a member of the Expediency Council are mistaken. He will not relinquish power so easily. Zibakalm stresses that there is no way Ahmadinejad will agree to the candidacy of Velayati (advisor to the Supreme Leader on international affairs), Hadad Adal (former Chairman of the Majlis Research Center) or (Ali) Larijani (Majlis Chairman and one of Ahmadinejad’s fiercest critics), and he will do everything to approve the candidacy of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei (his supporter). Ahmadinejad’s second choice, if he is unable to succeed with Mashei, will be Grand Ayatollah Mamoud Hashemi Shahroudi. If Shahroudi does not agree to submit his candidacy, Ahmadinejad’s third choice, failing all else, will be Salehi. If Mashaei enters the arena, he will only be able to win if the reformists do not participate in the elections. The only person who can stand in the way of Ahmadinejad is Khatami. Otherwise, if the reformists do not participate in the elections, some of the reformist voters will vote for Mashaei, and he will win about 30% of their votes.
Main problem dividing conservative camp is Ahmadinejad
- Published: 25 days ago on Wednesday, 2 January 2013
- By: Iran Daily Brief
- Last Modified: January 2, 2013 @ 3:27 pm
- Filed Under: Domestic
- Tagged with: