Reformist cleric to challenge Ahmadinejad in 2009 election
Mehdi Karroubi -- the leader of Iran's National Confidence reformist party -- declared on Sunday that he will contest the Iranian presidential race in 2009. "After many consultations I have conducted, and knowing the difficulties that comes with standing (as candidate), I announce my availability for the candidacy," he said, according to AFP.
"Now that I have entered the race after a serious decision I will carry out activities and will be present until the end," added the cleric, who served as the parliamentary speaker from 2000 until 2004.
Last week, he announced that he would consult with sources of emulation in Qom before declaring his final decision. This will be the second time Karroubi has run for president. He was among the candidates of the reformist camp in the 2005 presidential elections.
The cleric finished third in the vote count, closely following the frontrunners, ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the subsequent run-off, Ahmadinejad garnered more than 17 million votes, compared with around 10 million for Akbar Hashmi Rafsanjani.