Iranian reformist group calls for boycott of elections

Kurdpa - The Coordination Council for the Green Path of Hope, Iran\'s major reformist organization, is urging Iranians to boycott the coming parliamentary elections.

The Coordination Council sprang into being after Mir Hosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the two reformist candidates in the controversial presidential elections of 2009, were put under house arrest last February and denied access to the outside world.

Iranian reformists had been politically active on a platform of reforming the system based on the Iranian Constitution. However, after the 2009 presidential elections, the reformist candidates accused the state of rigging the ballot and they refused to accept the legitimacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad\'s victory. The allegations translated into mass demonstrations with millions of people protesting the alleged vote fraud.

The establishment ignored demands for a recount and instead cracked down on protesters, finally resorting to putting the two opposition leaders under house arrest.

As the March parliamentary elections approach, the issue of participation has become more critical. Mohammad Khatami, the former reformist president, said today that running in the elections is \"meaningless\" for reformists because the political arena remains closed to open political activity.

However, he stopped short of inviting the people to boycott the elections. Now the Coordination Council for the Green Path of Hope has done just that, urging Iranians to boycott the elections, adding that rather than opening the political arena, the establishment has chosen to \"intensify the atmosphere of repression.\"

The council indicates that it decided to call for a widespread boycott after \"extensive consultation\" with various Green factions, reviewing the stances of independent parties and groups, and taking into account the opinions of Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hosein Mousavi.