Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Rafsanjani still undecided over presidential comeback

Daily Times - Site Edition: "Rafsanjani still undecided over presidential comeback

TEHRAN: Iran’s powerful former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has yet to make a decision on whether to attempt a comeback for the Islamic republic’s number-two job, the student news agency ISNA said on Wednesday.

“I am still not convinced about being a candidate in the presidential elections,” Rafsanjani was quoted as saying. The top cleric and pragmatic conservative currently heads the Expediency Council — Irann’s top political arbitration body — but has been openly mulling a comeback as president when the nation goes to the polls on June 17.

Reformist President Mohammad Khatami is nearing the end of his second consecutive term and cannot stand again. The constitution only bars presidents from serving more than two consecutive terms, meaning Rafsanjani — president from 1989 to 1997 — can stand again.n. Although a number of other prominent conservatives have declared their candidacies, the 71-year-old Rafsanjani said he was “still not convinced” of the need for “old figures” to stay out of the race. afp"