The two main political parties in Iran have “largely lost their social base,” according to a former Iranian minister.
Fearing a low turnout in the parliamentary elections scheduled for February 21, Iranian officials including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani have urged Iranians to vote.
“The public currently does not see much difference between reformists and conservatives,” Mostafa Moeen told the semi-official Khabar Online on Saturday.
Moeen was the Minister of Science under the reformist President Mohammad Khatami. He also ran for president in the 2005 presidential election.
“Unfortunately, both political parties have largely lost their social base,” Moeen said.
“In the eyes of society, especially the youth, the competition between reformists and conservatives in the political and electoral arena is an irrelevant matter at this point in time,” he said.
The powerful Guardian Council, the country’s constitutional watchdog which vets prospective candidates, had barred thousands of mostly reformist and “moderate” candidates from entering the elections race.
Even if most of their candidates were not disqualified, reformists would have “probably” still failed to convince people to vote in the upcoming elections, said Moeen.
“Reformists, hardliners, game over” was a popular slogan amongst Iranian protesters in December 2017 and January 2018.