Principlists Urged to Get Message of Majlis Polls

Principlists Urged to Get Message of Majlis PollsPrinciplists Urged to Get Message of Majlis Polls

A reelected lawmaker said the message of the recent parliamentary elections in the capital Tehran should be heard by the principlist camp that suffered a heavy defeat.

Massoud Pezeshkian, a reformist politician who will represent Tabriz in the next assembly, told ISNA on Sunday the election returns showed that people's opinion differs from that of some principlist lawmakers and this should teach them a lesson.

"In the sitting parliament, [some principlists] were bitterly criticizing [virtually] everyone on the floor, saying this is the word of people and anybody who oppose it is in disagreement with the people," he said. "People, with their votes in the elections, particularly in Tehran, showed that was the word of [those] lawmakers, not them."

The two rounds of the Majlis polls were held in February and April. The results suggested that the List of Hope, a coalition of reformists and pro-government forces, secured a simple majority and broke the chain of overwhelming principlist victories in the past three legislative votes.

Although the lack of a formal party structure makes it tricky to recognize partisan interest of the election winners, according to a tally by ISNA, the List of Hope gained 120 seats, while principlists could only get 83 seats and the remaining seats of the 290-member body belong to independents.

A big reason behind the principlist failure was the largest constituency, Tehran, where the List of Hope scored a decisive win and swept away all the 30 seats.

Pezeshkian said to ensure the progress of the country with unity and solidarity, a change in the attitude of parliamentarians is needed.

"If the tenth Majlis follows in the footsteps of the ninth one [in its approach to the government], no problem will be solved," he said.

  No Deal on Majlis Chairmanship

Asked to comment on the possibility of a compromise between the two favorites for the post of Majlis speaker, namely Mohammad Reza Aref and Ali Larijani, Pezeshkian said such a deal is unlikely.

"Of course, if they reach an agreement, it will help promote unity," he said. "[But] according to my experience, a coalition is almost impossible. I think they will compete with each other."

Aref, a former vice president and head of the Reformist Policymaking Council, was the top vote-getter in the elections in Tehran while Larijani is the incumbent Majlis speaker and a prominent principlist figure.

On the outcome of the competition between Aref and Larijani, Pezeshkian said he believes both figures stand a reasonable chance of winning, as Aref has a proven record of management in his years in the government and Larijani has empowered legislators to be effective and has stood against external pressure on the house.

The closing session of the sitting legislature was held on Tuesday and the next parliament will open on Saturday.