Iran's reformist Khatami pulls out of presidential election
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-17 17:23:20   Print

File photo taken on June 16, 2004 shows the then Iranian President Mohammad Khatami receiving interviews in Tehran, Iran. Iran's reformist former President Mohammad Khatami announced on March 17, 2009 that he withdrew from the upcoming presidential election in June, according to Iran's English-language satellite channel Press TV.(Xinhua/Chen Wendi)
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    TEHRAN, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Iran's reformist former President Mohammad Khatami on Tuesday announced his withdrawal from the upcoming presidential election in June, Iran's English-language satellite channel Press TV reported.

    "I announce my withdrawal from the 10th presidential election," Khatami was quoted as saying in a statement released on Tuesday.

File photo taken on June 17, 2005 shows the then Iranian President Mohammad Khatami voting in the presidential election in Tehran, capital of Iran. Iran's reformist former President Mohammad Khatami announced on March 17, 2009 that he withdrew from the upcoming presidential election in June, according to Iran's English-language satellite channel Press TV.(Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)
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    The statement, which came after Khatami's meeting with leading reformist figures, said the main reason behind the withdrawal was to "prevent the division" of the votes.

    Calling for a "free and fair" election, Khatami also said he would continue his active presence in the scene to encourage people's huge turnout in the upcoming election.

    Khatami, who was elected president in 1997 and served in office for two terms until 2005, declared last month his plan to compete with incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and reformist figure Mehdi Karroubi in the election scheduled for June 12.

    But after former Iranian Prime Minster Mir-Hossein Mousavi, also a reformist, announced his bid for the presidency last week, analysts predicted that the reformist camp may need to unite behind a single candidate.

    Khatami's withdrawal came as analysts speculated that the rival conservative camp would reach a consensus on one candidate to oppose the reformists.

    No political figure from the conservative camp has yet officially announced their candidacy, but a consultant to Ahmadinejad said last month that the incumbent president had decided to run in the upcoming presidential election.

Editor: Lin Liyu
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