Reformists Back Aref for Majlis Speakership

Reformists Back Aref for Majlis Speakership Reformists Back Aref for Majlis Speakership

A reformist figure said Mohammad Reza Aref, the top election winner in the recent parliamentary poll in the capital Tehran, is their choice for the parliament's speakership.

In an interview with IRNA on Sunday, Secretary-General of the Union of Islamic Iran People Party Ali Shakourirad said "the good record" in recent years and huge votes in the election have made Aref the reformists' favorite for the post.

However, the politician said the "Hope faction" comprising election winners included in the List of Hope, an electoral alliance of reformists and government backers, will formally decide their nominee.

"Our first priority is the formation of the Hope faction with as many lawmakers as possible," he said.

Media speculations have touted the head of the Reformist Policymaking Council, Aref, and sitting Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, a prominent principlist figure, as the main candidates for the post of speaker.

Shakourirad said it will be better if Aref and Larijani reach agreement on the post and avoid competition, but if not, their rivalry should be friendly, which will help avoid bipolarity in the parliament.

"Majlis chairmanship is not everything and there is a vast ground for cooperation," he said, adding that closer friendship between reformists and principlists will benefit the nation.

On Tuesday, a recently elected lawmaker of the List of Hope, Mostafa Kavakebian, once again repeated the reformists' position that they are ready for interaction with principlists to share key positions in the next parliament.

"The List of Hope has formed a committee for this, but principlist lawmakers have done nothing yet," he told ISNA.  

On efforts to create the Hope faction, Kavakebian said that in the second meeting of the List of Hope, which was due on Tuesday, the statute of the faction was to be passed in addition to the formation of a temporary presiding board.

The new lawmaker said the third meeting of the faction will be held next week.

Principlist election winners also held a meeting last week for the formation of their assembly faction.  

The two rounds of recent legislative polls were held on February 26 and April 29, and voter turnout was 62% and 59% respectively.

The results show no group could gain the absolute majority in the next parliament. According to ISNA, the List of Hope secured 120 seats and principlists 83, while the rest belongs to independents.

The closing ceremony of the sitting house will be held on May 24 and the new parliament will open on May 28.