TEHRAN (Combined Sources)–Armenia’s were urged to vote their conscience in the upcoming June 17 presidential elections in Iran–in what is the most contested presidential race in the country’s history.
The chairman of Tehran’s Armenian Prelacy’s Representative Assembly Dr. L. Tavtian–stressed the importance of voting–stating that what is at stake is the quality of life–the future of children–as well as that of the people and the country. As far as Tehran’s Armenia’s are concerned–he emphasized the importance of choosing a candidate who is familiar "with the issues."
"As a religious minority in Iran–we have a general responsibility to vote. We have various activities–as well as corresponding difficulties throughout our communities [in Iran]. So as to overcome them–we must wholeheartedly participate in the electoral process and elect that individual who is more informed than others about our concerns–and will work to remedy them."
He urged the Armenian community to keep in mind the country’s interests and objectives–as well those of the Armenian community–and "vote for that individual who will realize those goals."
It is unlikely that any of the eight candidates vying to replace President Mohammad Khatami–who cannot run for a third term–will win the kind of victory that swept Khatami to office in 1997 and 2001 with hopes of political and social change.
Voter apathy is threatening to deliver a low turnout–and recent polls indicate that none of the candidates–which include clerics–generals–a doctor and Tehran’s mayor–is likely to garner the 50 percent needed to avoid a run-off.