Election crisis heats up as reformists attacked in western Iran
Around 200 Iranian "hardliners" raided a meeting of reformists protesting against the rejection of pro-reform election candidates and "beat up" several speakers, the official IRNA news agency reported Thursday.
Members of the Hizbullah movement reportedly burst into the meeting at Hamedan in western Iran late Wednesday as speakers attacked the decision of the Guardians Council to exclude hundreds of reformists from standing in the February 20 parliamentary elections.
"Following the speeches of 'Bonyad Shahmoradi' and 'Hadi Ehtezazi' two invalidated candidates of the National-Religious Movement, it was my turn to speak. But suddenly a group of the participants started chanting slogans such as 'hypocrites have no place in the parliament'".
According to IRNA, the assailants injured a number of speakers, including student leader Said Razavi Fagih, reformist MP Hossein Loghmanian and Hossein Mojahed, head of the local branch of the main pro-reform party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front.
The electoral vetting arm of the Guardians Council, the Surveillance Commission, had recently disqualified 3,605 of the 8,157 people seeking to stand in the polls. Most on the "blacklist" were reformers, among them some 83 incumbent MPs and some of the reform movement's most leading figures. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)