Some 83.9 percent of Iranians want President Mohammad Khatami to run for a second mandate in the upcoming June presidential polls, reported the official IRNA news agency, citing a press report on Tuesday.
The government-run daily ‘Iran’ said the latest straw vote conducted by a national institute has shown that "83.3 percent of Iranians have said they will certainly vote for Khatami if he seeks a second term in office."
It said that 58.4 percent of Iranians involved in the opinion polls have said Khatami's re-election would rehabilitate the administration of the country, while 15 percent have warned the situation would get worse if Khatami seeks a second term.
President Khatami has yet to officially announce his intention of running for a second term in office.
Khatami's brother, Mohammad-Reza, was quoted as saying that the president "has serious doubts and has still not said clearly what he intends to do,” said IRNA on Monday.
“Khatami would not announce his decision until May 6 or 7, when candidates have to be registered for the June 8 elections,” his brother was quoted as telling the daily Entekhab on Monday.
Entekhab itself predicted that Khatami, who has seen many of his supporters jailed and their newspapers closed down by the conservative-controlled courts in the past year, would not run again, "although his political allies are doing all they can to convince him to do so," according to AFP.
The latest blow to reformists was the arrest announced Sunday of 42 active members of the liberal opposition accused of trying to overthrow the Islamic regime.
Khatami condemned the recent arrests of journalists, students, academics and members of political groups in Iran.
"When I see measures against the press and arrests of individual members of political groups I can only express my regret," the head of state said in a first reaction to the recent arrests in Iran's political circles.
Khatami said he wanted the "head of the judiciary to see that the law is respected." – Albawaba.com
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