TEHRAN, April 24 (UPI) -- Iranian parliamentarians in the Principlist camp threw their support behind President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the June presidential contest, a lawmaker said.
Ruhollah Hosseinian, a close ally of the president, said that of the 290 members of the Iranian Parliament, 200 voiced their support for Ahmadinejad, Iran's Press TV reports.
There are conflicting reports over the unity of the Principlist camp in the run-up to the presidential contest as the number of candidates announcing their desire to run under the conservative ticket grows.
Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani and Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei have all been mentioned as possible candidates on the Principlist ticket.
Reports released Thursday suggest many Principlist leaders would back Rezaei as their candidate for president, though statements from the Expediency Council suggest Rezaei, a former commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, has not yet made has candidacy official.
Meanwhile, members the conservative Combatant Clergy Association have come forward expressing their reservation over backing Ahmadinejad, citing frustration with his administrative initiatives.
Ahmadinejad ran in the 2005 elections as an independent candidate, and he is expected to enter the 2009 contest under similar circumstances.
He has not announced his intentions for the race, however.