Reformists Aiming for Gov't-Supportive Majlis

Reformists Aiming for Gov't-Supportive MajlisReformists Aiming for Gov't-Supportive Majlis

Reformists are hopeful that the composition of the current conservative-dominated parliament will alter in the upcoming election so the new legislature will stand by the government rather than against it, a top reformist said.

"We should seek to create a Majlis that assists the government and not opposes it," former vice president, Mohammad Reza Aref, said in an address to a gathering of reformists in the northwestern province of Qazvin on Monday.

As a candidate of reformists, Aref withdrew from the 2013 presidential election, in what was seen as an electoral coalition with moderate Hassan Rouhani, who ultimately won, IRNA reported.

Aref said, "Yet, we recognize the parliament's right to monitor the government provided it avoids pursuing issues subjectively. We believe it is among the Majlis rights to conduct research, investigate and impeach. We regard it as a means, if used properly, of boosting the efficiency of the state and the establishment."

The next parliamentary vote is scheduled along with that for the Assembly of Experts for February 26, 2016.

The former vice president noted that promoting national interests and the country's strategic affairs should be the parliament's primary concern, expressing regret that the last few parliaments have failed to effectively serve the cause.

Aref said upholding the rule of law is at the core of his camp's campaign.

"We will never act above the law and we expect the rival camps and organizers of the elections to abide by the law as well," he said.

"Reformists should put aside their differences, avoid pursuing their personal interests and work toward establishing convergence."

Aref noted that the Reformists' Policymaking Council was created to that end.

"The council will not be involved in selecting the candidates to represent reformists in the vote, but it has a role in determining the camp's agenda to promote solidarity among members," Aref, who is the chairman of the council, said.