Reformists Seek Change in Parliament

Reformists Seek Change in Parliament

The top winner of the recent parliamentary polls in the Tehran constituency said reformists will seek to satisfy "a public demand for change in Majlis".
Mohammad Reza Aref also said in a meeting with members of the pro-reform National Trust Party in Tehran on Thursday that he believes the wish of Iranians for change gave reformists and allies of the government a majority in the next parliament.
"If we defy people's desire ... we will not receive their votes in future elections," he said.
The two rounds of Majlis polls were held on February 26 and April 29. Returns show that the List of Hope, an alliance of reformists and allies of President Hassan Rouhani, could gain a simple majority by securing 120 seats of the total 290. Their rival group of principlists, who had the absolute majority in the past three parliaments, could only grab 83 seats while the remaining seats belong to independents.
Aref was a candidate in the previous presidential vote in 2013 who withdrew in favor of Rouhani and paved the way for his victory.
He said it is up to reformists to help Rouhani extend his term by winning the next presidential race in June 2017.
"We should exert efforts to prevent the dream of those who wish to see the realization of a one-term Rouhani government," he said.
During the campaign for parliamentary polls, reformists frequently announced that their aim in the next parliament will be to help the government overcome challenges and honor its election promises.
"Of course, the government should take steps to fulfill popular demands," Aref said, adding that easing concerns over high unemployment and social problems will help prepare the ground for the second victory of Rouhani. Aref, who is also the head of the Reformist Policymaking Council, said reformists will seek solidarity and cooperation in the next parliament, in addition to a friendly rivalry with other factions.
"The atmosphere in the tenth Majlis should be that of harmony and unity," he said.
The opening ceremony of the next Majlis will held on May 28.

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