Pro-Gov’t Forces Seek 169-Strong Parliamentary Faction

Pro-Gov’t Forces Seek 169-Strong Parliamentary Faction
Pro-Gov’t Forces Seek 169-Strong Parliamentary Faction

A senior reformist figure said efforts are underway to bring 169 pro-government lawmakers under the banner of the "hope faction" in the next parliament. Hojjatoleslam Mohsen Rohami, head of the reformist coalition and consultation committee, made the statement in an interview with IRNA on Monday.

Rohami explained that although only 125 winners of the recent legislative polls were included in the List of Hope, a joint list of candidates between reformists and allies of President Hassan Rouhani, the faction will likely see 169 members with the addition of other pro-government candidates who ran in the elections as independent.

The returns of the two rounds of parliamentary polls, which were held on February 26 and April 29, show the List of Hope has secured a simple majority in the next house.

Although no side could obtain the outright majority, the government backers made a big win by ending the 12-year dominance of principlists.

In Tehran, the biggest and most important constituency, the List of Hope that was topped by the head of the Reformist Policymaking Council, Mohammad Reza Aref, swept all the 30 seats.

Rohami said they wish to establish a united faction of all pro-government forces because the establishment of several factions will likely result in unilateral moves that could sow discord in parliament.

"Unity and solidarity among reformists, government allies and moderates will be our goal in the 10th Majlis," he said.

Rohami said the reformist experience of previous parliament configurations suggests that adopting extremist approaches will be to their detriment. "Reformists will seek to create an atmosphere of interaction and tolerance in the Majlis and the country's political scene," he said.

  No Larijani-Aref Rivalry

The reformist politician also touched on media speculations over rivalry between sitting Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani and Aref for the assembly's leadership, saying no such competition exists and reformists do not want to damage their close relations with the principlist Larijani and his friends, some of whom were included in the List of Hope in Tehran.

"Our opponents want division between moderate forces. If we enter into dispute with moderate principlists, we cannot work effectively in the 10th Majlis," he said.

Reformists have said a reformist-majority parliament will be a partner of the government and has economy on top of its agenda.

Mahmoud Sadeqi, a newly elected lawmaker from the List of Hope, said on Sunday that a meeting of the election winners included in the List of Hope will be held next Saturday, in preparation for the formation of the "hope faction."

The closing ceremony for the incumbent house is scheduled for May 24 and the next one will convene on May 28.