Monday, July 10, 2006

Mosharekat and New Plans

Mosharekat, the main reformist party in Iran, has announced its strategic plan to increase the number of its members to 1’000’000 and to establish 40 student societies in the campuses across the country. If nothing else, the timing of such decisions alone has already doomed this plan.

Mosharekat came to existence almost a year after President Khatami stunning victory. It was set up by some members of his cabinet as well as veterans of leftist organization such as Sazman i Mojahedin i Inghlab i Islami (Organization of Combatants of Islamic Revolution). At the time many speculated that organizing Mosharekat was a reaction to Kargozaran i Sazandegi, the main technocrats party formed by Mr. Rafsanjani’s supporters. While many of reformers had been out of power for 8 years and President Khatam himself had resigned as minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Kargozaran had been members of cabinets and decision making circles for the past eight years. They were considered in charge by the most of population.

Founders of Mosharekat tried to differentiate themselves from Kargozaran. Their goal was to establish a new party for those who believed in main objectives of reform. While some considered Kargozaran a club with a limited membership policy, many expected Mosharekat to be popular and recipient. At the same time a labor party was established by workers Islami unions coordination committee (Khaney i Kargar). The free media, the new parties and the idea of a better society encouraged many to sign up. However nothing was essentially different.

Mosharekat closed its ranks to memberships immediately. There was no plan for expanding its network; there was no plan for new members. Soon Mosharekat became what it had claimed it was not: a social club for job seekers. The fall of Kargozaran increased its role, but it did not help the leadership to expand Party’s network. After winning the Parliamentarian election, Mosharekat members almost forgot their promises. Party leadership went to President’s brother Dr. Khatami and it did very poorly in channeling popular demand.

By 2004, many who had been volunteered to join and to work for party, but had been turned down for various reasons, would be contacted to help Dr. Moeen’s campaign. Stubbornly Mosharekat refused to choose a candidate with whom Kargozaran could have agreed, such as Dr. Najafi former head of Management and Planning Organization. Their persistence on Dr. Moeen and vice presidency of Dr. Khatami also became factors in encouraging Mr. Karrubi to start a campaign of his own.

Mosharekat in 2005 could be credited by having a few congresses and an incomplete infrastructure. Like all other golden opportunities, reformers wasted 7 golden years for recruitment, infrastructure building and forming a real party.

Today hearing their plan causes a bitter smile. Having 1’000’000 members under current circumastances? Forming 40 student unions across country when current administration is sending home, whomever worthy of opposition? The writer does not want to seem pessimistic, but it seems this is an attempt by those have failed and have caused their own failure to follow a much ignored advice. But how could the new legions trust such faulty leadership again?

No comments: