Legislative in Iran: Rohani refuses to resign

Iranian President Hassan Rohani at a press conference in Tehran, February 16, 2020. Official Presidential website / Handout via REUTERS

Text by: RFI Follow

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has excluded this Sunday, February 16, from resigning before the end of his mandate in 2021. With the approach of the legislative elections on February 21, the coalition which supports him appears in a bad position. Many fear strong abstention which could benefit ultra-conservative candidates.


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" A resignation would not make much sense, " said Hassan Rohani at a press conference in Tehran. His government will " continue to fulfill [its] promises [despite] the economic conditions and pressure from the enemy ". The idea of ​​resigning because of these problems " never occurred to him ," he said.

Hassan Rohani was elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2017. Rumors that he intends to resign before the end of his second and last mandate have circulated in recent weeks.

The Iranian president nevertheless indicated that he had twice offered to resign to the Supreme Guide. A first time between his first election and his entry into office, and a second time during his second mandate. In both cases, the president said, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei firmly rejected the idea.

Almost half of disabled applicants, mostly moderates

After this update, this Sunday, Hassan Rohani tried once again to mobilize voters for the legislative elections next Friday, reports our special envoy to Tehran, Oriane Verdier . The coalition of moderates and reformers who supported him appeared, indeed, in a bad position during this election.

A ballot that could be marked by a strong abstention for the benefit of conservatives and ultra-conservatives. Many indeed wonder why to vote when a part of the Iranian population suffers daily from an economy suffocated by American sanctions.

The icing on the cake is that almost half of the legislative candidates have been invalidated . The vast majority were reformers or moderates.

"The dealer will decide for you"

" If my choice is reduced from 100 to 50, that does not mean that it is entirely zero, " said Hassan Rohani. I'll take an example: you paid a certain amount of money to a car dealership and you wait for them to deliver your car to you. You should have had the choice between 30 colors, but now we only offer twenty. Are you not going to choose any ? In this case the dealer will decide for you the color he prefers to deliver to you. In these 20 colors, you must therefore choose the one you prefer. Maybe it's not ideal and you have another opinion, but you have to go to the polls and choose from the choices offered. "

In Tehran two reformist lists were finally presented. Initially, the candidates threatened to boycott the elections. Two more could still be declared by Friday, polling day.

Read also: Iran commemorates the 41st anniversary of the victory of the Islamic revolution

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  • Iran
  • Hassan Rohani

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