ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Mandate for Reform in Iran

The decisive victory of the reformist Participation Front coalition headed by president Mohammed Khatami in the recent elections, particularly his popularity amongst the students has confirmed that Iran is heading towards positive and fundamental changes in its political and social life. It is also more open in its foreign relations, though the US has hardened its stand.

The decisive victory of the reformist and leftist coalition of the Participation Front is a turning point in the history of Iran. It is an affirmation of a revolution of expectations. For president Mohammed Khatami, the election results are a clear mandate to act on his pledge to refashion Iran from an insular country of disjointed and competing ruling elites into a democratic state ruled by a clear set of constitutional laws. Khatamis election in 1997 had opened the way for the liberalisation of Irans social and political life, but had been unable to achieve fundamental changes mainly because of opposition from the dominant sections of the clergy. The election gave birth to the social movement Khordad 2 on May 23, the day of election of president Khatami that has spearheaded reforms in Iran.

While the movement gathered momentum, it met with stiff resistance from the establishment which created a series of crises in an attempt to block social and political reforms and protect its own privileges. The year 1999 saw major events that shook the Iranian society. In February, Khatami fulfilled his campaign promise to hold Irans first local elections. At one stroke 2,00,000 democratically elected officials entered the countrys political structure. The religious authorities frantically tried to block the candidacy of the Khordad candidates. The election to the local bodies made it abundantly clear that in a relatively open electoral process the reform movement would win.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.