By: Mir M.Hosseini
Mohammad Khatami begins his second term in office as the president. The ceremony was delayed for several days because of a power struggle between religious conservatives and reformers for seats in the Guardian Council, The body consisting of 12 members half of which are appointed by the Supreme Leader. The other six are chosen by votes at the parliament. But four nominees could not reach the absolute majority and the regulations had to be changed to ensure that the top two candidates in a second vote were accepted.
Khatami's promises of reforms earned him strong support for his second term. 35 candidates, among them the first woman to stand for Iranian president registered for the election on June 8. However, most candidates were disqualified by the Guardian Council and nine candidates were chosen to face Mr. Khatami who swept to a second term in June elections with 77% of the vote.
Iranian president vowed to enact reforms in his second term despite tremendous opposition from hard-liners. He insisted that Iran must have democracy. Iranians voted overwhelmingly in favor of reform and democracy but the outcome of Khatami's second term was nothing like expected, Political freedom and civil liberties has always been a dream for Iranians who keep on pushing the rock up the hill knowing that it will never reach the top. After four years, it turned out that the whole scene had a hidden scenario and Iranian freedom seekers needed to think more realistically rather than hoping that a cleric approved by the system will have the will and power to change the theocratic establishment.