Council for Coordinating the Reforms Front

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Council for Coordinating the Reforms Front
شورای هماهنگی جبهه اصلاحات
Leader Mohammad Khatami[1]
Rotating president of the Council Mahmoud Sadeghi
Founded November 13, 1999; 18 years ago (1999-11-13)[2]
Headquarters Tehran, Iran
National affiliation Iranian reform movement

The Council for Coordinating the Reforms Front[3] or the Reformist Front Coordination Council[4] (Persian: شورای هماهنگی جبهه اصلاحات‎) is the umbrella organization,[1] coalition[3] and council[4] of main political groups within the Iranian reform movement. Since 2015, it is overseen by the Reformists' Supreme Council for Policymaking.[5]

Formation[edit]

On 13 November 1999, eighteen groups came together to form the "Council for coordinating of 2nd of Khordad Front" (Persian: شورای هماهنگی جبهه دوم خرداد‎) with the aim of laying down a unified reformist strategy.[2] The coalitions's namesake, 2nd of Khordad, corresponds to 23 May on the Iranian calendar, is the day of Mohammed Khatami's landslide victory in the 1997 presidential election.[1] The 18 groups were later nicknamed "2nd of Khordad Front G-18" (Persian: گروه‌های هیجده‌گانه جبهه دوم خرداد‎).[6]

Khatami, leader of the coalition

Loose coalition in reform era[edit]

They coalition was able to gain a supermajority in the Iranian Parliament election in 2000 and won almost all 30 seats in the most important constituency, Tehran.[7] However, the coalition was "loose".[8] While different groups of the coalition pursued slightly different priorities, on the whole they supported Mohammad Khatami's reforms.[7]

Despite reformists winning all 15 seats of City Council of Tehran in 1999, clash and disagreements between councilors of Executives Party, Participation Front and Solidarity Party gradually reached to the point that the council was dissolved by Ministry of Interior, two months remaining to the 2003 elections. Council for coordinating 2nd of Khordad Front declared that it is not supporting any of the incumbent councilors in Tehran, making an issue of compromise on a unified electoral list.[9] The member groups failed to form an alliance and every group endrosed its own candidates, with more than 10 reformist electoral lists issued. They reformists had a major defeat, losing all seats to the principlist Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became Mayor of Tehran.[10]

After many of the coalition's candidates were disqualified for the 2004 parliamentary elections by the Guardian council and reformist MPs held a sit-in in the Parliament, on January 31, 2004, the council declared it "will not participate in the election"[11] and principlists won the election.[12]

In the Iranian presidential election, 2005, reformists were unable to put forward a coalition candidate based on consensus. Executives supported Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mojahedin endrosed the Participation Front candidate Mostafa Moeen. Association of Combatant Clerics' secretary-general Mehdi Karroubi and Mohsen Mehralizadeh were other candidates supported by various reformist groups. With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winning the election in run-off, the reformists lost another office to principlists.[13][14]

Off the power[edit]

Logo used for "Reformists Coalition" in 2008 legislative elections

In 2006, two elections were held simoltaneously: Assembly of Experts and local elections. The council reached a coalition electoral list; however, newly founded reformist National Trust Party led by Mehdi Karroubi decided to issue its own list and endrosed some principlist candidates for Assembly of Experts.[15]

In the 2008 parliamentary election, despite many reformists were disqualified,[16] the front compromised to support a shared list of candidates, named "Reformists Coalition". National Trust Party endrosed its own candidates again.[17]

Reformists were defeated in all three elections.[18]

Green movement[edit]

In the Iranian presidential election, 2009, the council released a statement announcing its support for Mir Hossein Mousavi.[19]

With the protests to the election results ongoing, the council called for nonviolent protests against the government. For the anniversary of the Iranian revolution, they issued a statement, saying "We will show all of the small-minded people who sit on the thrones as rulers, and label any opposition as tools of foreign enemies, the fate of single-voiced [autocratic] systems and establishments... We come to scream on behalf of the political prisoners, most of whom were present in the 1357 [1979] revolution and tell them [the authorities] that in lieu of imprisonments and violence against the people, you must return to the fundamentals and the original values".[3]

Post-protests crackdown[edit]

The aftermath of poll protests trial, Iranian reform movement was put under pressure by the government.[20] In September 2010, a court declared that two leading parties of the coalition, Islamic Iran Participation Front and Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization are dissolved and banned.[21] The two parties, alongside Office for Strengthening Unity, have no attended the council sessions ever since due to pressures.[22]

In December 2011, Mohammad Khatami said "When all signs indicate that we must not participate in this election (Iranian legislative election 2012), participation in the election is meaningless." Meanwhile, the council announced that it has no hope that the election would be held freely and fairly, so they would not be participating in the election, “not to present a unified list [of candidates] and not to support anyone [in the race].”[23] Despite the decision, a member groups including Democracy Party, Islamic Labour Party and Worker House decided to run for the elections outside the council.[24] While major reformists position was interpreted as an "election boycott" by some, Mohammad Khatami unexpectedly cast his vote in a small rural district of Damavand despite the fact he lives in Tehran, to "keep the windows to reformism open."[25]

In the Iranian presidential election, 2013, the council endrosed Hassan Rouhani, after persuasion of Mohammad Reza Aref to withdraw via Mohammad Khatami.[26] With Rouhani taking the office, appointment of some reformist figures in his cabinet offered the reformist camp a lifeline.[27] In the 2013 local elections, the council made up the "Reformists Coalition" list, including moderate reformists and some 'not-so-familiar names' for the City Council of Tehran.[28] The results showed a swing towards reformist candidates nationwide, and in Tehran they won 13 seats out of 31.[29]

Electoral history[edit]

A meeting with Mohammad Khatami
Year Election Reforms Front status Reformist camp status
Consensus? Participation? Unified candidate(s)? Won election?
2000 Parliament Yes Yes No Yes
2001 President Yes Yes Yes Yes
2003 Local Councils No Yes, separately No No, in total
2004 Parliament Yes No No No
2005 President No Yes, separately No No
2006 Local Councils Yes Yes No No, in total
Assembly of Experts Yes Yes No No
2008 Parliament Yes Yes No No
2009 President Yes Yes No No
2012 Parliament Yes No No No
2013 President Yes Yes Yes Yes
Local Councils Yes Yes No No, in total
2016 Parliament Yes Yes Yes Yes, plurality
Assembly of Experts Yes Yes Yes Yes, partly
2017 President Yes Yes Yes Yes
Local Councils Yes Yes Yes Yes, in total

Membership[edit]

The council includes political parties as well as less formal groups and organizations.[8] Presidency of the council is a rotating position between all the member parties.[22]

Members of the Council for coordinating the Reforms Front
Group Foundation Notes
Assembly of Qom Seminary Scholars and Researchers[3]
مجمع مدرسین و محققین حوزه علمیه قم
1998 Founding member
Association of Combatant Clerics[22]
مجمع روحانیون مبارز
1988 Founding member
Association of Followers of the Imam's Line[22]
مجمع نیروهای خط امام
1991 Founding member
Assembly of Parliamentary Sessions Representatives[3]
مجمع نمایندگان ادوار مجلس شورای اسلامی
1998 Founding member
Executives of Construction Party[1]
حزب کارگزاران سازندگی
1996 Founding member
Islamic Assembly of Women[30]
مجمع اسلامی بانوان
1998 Founding member
Islamic Association of Teachers of Iran[22]
انجمن اسلامی معلمان ایران
1991 Founding member
Islamic Association of University Instructors[3]
انجمن اسلامی مدرسین دانشگاه‌ها
1991 Founding member
Association of the Women of the Islamic Republic[30]
جمعیت زنان جمهوری اسلامی ایران
1989 Founding member
Islamic Iran Participation Front[3]
جبهه مشارکت ایران اسلامی
1998 Founding member
Banned; not attending due to pressures[22]
Islamic Iran Freedom and Justice Organization

سازمان عدالت و آزادی ایران اسلامی

1997 Member Since 2015
Islamic Iran Solidarity Party[22]
حزب همبستگی اسلامی ایران
1998 Founding member
Islamic Labour Party[22]
حزب اسلامی کار
1998 Founding member
Islamic Society of Physicians[22]
جامعه اسلامی پزشکان
1998 Founding member
Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Organization[3]
سازمان مجاهدین انقلاب اسلامی ایران
1991 Founding member
Banned; not attending due to pressures[22]
Office for Strengthening Unity[22]
دفتر تحکیم وحدت
1979 Founding member
not attending due to pressures[22]
Worker House[22]
خانه کارگر
1990 Founding member
Women's Journalist Association[3]
انجمن روزنامه‌نگاران زن
1999 Founding member
Democracy Party[22]
حزب مردمسالاری
2000
Will of the Iranian Nation Party[22]
حزب اراده ملت ایران
1990
Islamic Iran Youth Party[22]
حزب جوانان ایران اسلامی
1998
Islamic Association of Iranian Medical Society[22]
انجمن اسلامی جامعه پزشکی ایران
1993
Islamic Association of Researchers[22]
انجمن اسلامی محققان
Islamic Association of Engineers[22]
انجمن اسلامی مهندسان
Assembly of Educators of Islamic Iran[22]
مجمع فرهنگیان ایران اسلامی
2003
Assembly of Graduates of Islamic Iran[22]
مجمع دانش‌آموختگان ایران اسلامی
1985

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Iran: The Davom-e Khordad (2nd of Khordad; 23 May) Movement". Refworld. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Maddy-Weitzman, Bruce (2002), Middle East Contemporary Survey, Volume 23; Volume 1999, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, p. 238, ISBN 9789652240491 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Iran groups urge non-violent protests for anniversary". CNN. August 28, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Political road map of Iran before the Parliamentary (Majlis) elections". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on March 30, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Reformist council picks controversial MP as new head", Tehran Times, 21 January 2017, retrieved 30 April 2017 
  6. ^ "وحدت در جبهه دوم خرداد" (in Persian). BBC Persian. 2 August 2004. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Ehteshami, Anoushiravan; Zweiri, Mahjoob (2007), Iran and the Rise of Its Neoconservatives: The Politics of Tehran's Silent Revolution, I.B.Tauris, pp. 6–8, ISBN 0857713671 
  8. ^ a b "Iran Government Profile" (PDF) (in Persian). CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Jamshid Barzegar (28 January 2003). "شوراها؛ زمينه ای برای آشکار شدن اختلافات اصلاح طلبان" (in Persian). BBC Persian. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "حاشیه ای برای آرزوی رسیدن به مدل مجلس اول: انتخابات شورای شهر دوم، عبرتی برای اصلاح‌طلبان / آیا اصلاح‌طلبان به رای مردم تمکین می‌کنند؟" (in Persian). Farda News. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  11. ^ Jamshid Barzegar (31 January 2004). "'جبهه دوم خرداد در انتخابات شرکت نمی کند'" (in Persian). BBC Persian. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Jarrett Murphy (15 February 2004). "Conservatives Win Iran's Elections". CBS. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Guide to Iran's presidential poll". BBC. 16 June 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  14. ^ Kevan Harris (19 July 2013). "An "Electoral Uprising" in Iran". Middle East Research and Information Project. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Ahmad Zeydabadi (29 November 2006). "اصلاح طلبان و انتخابات مجلس خبرگان" (in Persian). BBC Persian. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Nahid Siamdoust (March 16, 2008). "What Iran's Poll Results Mean". Time Magazine. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "تفاوت لیست اعتماد ملی با اصلاح‌طلبان" (in Persian). Donya-e-Eqtesad. 29 June 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  18. ^ Gasiorowski, Mark J. (2013), The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa, Westview Press, p. 81, ISBN 081334865X 
  19. ^ "Reformist Coordination Council Backs Mousavi". Jaam-e-Jame. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  20. ^ Jon Lee Anderson (August 16, 2010). "After the Crackdown". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  21. ^ Cyrus Green (27 September 2010). "Iranian court bans two leading opposition parties". BBC. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "واژه نامه جریان های فعال در انتخابات ریاست جمهوری ایران - BBC Persian" (in Persian). BBC Persian. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  23. ^ Cyrus Green (20 December 2011). "'Upcoming elections illegal and unfair' says Green Council". Oye! Times. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  24. ^ Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah (5 March 2013). "We Want to Meet the Supreme Leader". Rooz Online. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  25. ^ Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi (March 10, 2012). "Man Friday: Khatami's Vote and the Question of 'Reformism'". PBS. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Iran Today: Moderate-Reformist Coalition is Formed". EA WorldView. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Iran's new cabinet Rohani's recruits". Economist. August 6, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  28. ^ Behrooz Samadbeygi (June 12, 2013). "The Purchase and Sale of City Council Seats". Rooz Online. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  29. ^ Ali M. Pedram (June 20, 2013). "Reformists return to power in Iran's local elections". Asharq Al Awsat. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  30. ^ a b "تشکیل جبهه دوم خرداد و گروه های 18 گانه" (in Persian). YJC. Retrieved 21 August 2015.