According to schedule this round of urban and rural councils would conclude its four year term next April. However, a bill was introduced in the Majlis last year, to merge the timing of Presidential elections held every four years according to the Constitution, with Council elections also held every four years. Iranians have been going to the polls for elections of various officials practically every year and this has always been taken as a partial indicator of a democratic process in the Islamic Republic (except for, of course, the previous disputed Presidential elections).
Last month the Majlis also adopted a bill according to which the third round of the Councils would be extended for 22 months. Many observers believed that after the tragic events of last year and the unresolved disputes on the elections, any new election this year would be unwelcome for the people and the turnout would be very low. Supporters of Ahmadinejad in the Majlis were against this proposal and insisted to convene elections according to schedule . The low turnout would be to their benefit as their minority would overtake the Councils, in which a majority are currently critical of the government and more than 40% are Reformists. The Reformists were also against the proposal, but for a different reason. They believed that the elections would be an opportunity for more freedom of speech and a chance to speak out on different political matters which are unspeakable under ordinary circumstances (like now).
The Majlis approved the bill and the Council of Guardians approved it without any fuss to the surprise of many.
In any case, as a representative of 9 million inhabitants of Tehran, I pray God will grant me the strength, courage and insight to defend and promote the rights of these citizens and to enhance the quality of life for those living in Tehran.
Begining from this month we have 30 months ahead of us to serve.
For the second round of his Presidency, when it became evident how difficult it would be to stand for another four years Khatami stood for his candidacy with the slogan Ya Ali. In Persian it is customary to say Ya Ali when you need strength and wisdom, since Imam Ali is an example of both.