Larijani Reelected Majlis Speaker

Larijani  Reelected  Majlis Speaker Larijani  Reelected  Majlis Speaker

Legislators overwhelmingly voted on Tuesday to reelect Ali Larijani as the speaker of the new Majlis, extending his eight-year consecutive speakership in the past two parliaments for another year.

In the third session of the new parliament, which opened on Saturday, the influential principlist politician won 237 votes, out of 276 lawmakers who were present, ISNA reported.

The other candidate for chairmanship of the 290-seat house, pro-reform Mostafa Kavakebian, trailed far behind with only 11 votes, while 28 ballots were blank.

Reformist Mohammad Reza Aref, the top vote-getter in the recent legislative polls in the capital Tehran, refused to run for the seat after he got 103 votes for the interim speaker on Sunday.

Elections for the permanent Majlis Presiding Board, which will serve a one-year term, were held after the credentials of over two-thirds of the parliamentarians were endorsed, as per the constitution.

In separate elections for other seats of the 12-member board, reform-minded Massoud Pezeshkian with 158 votes and pro-government Ali Motahhari with 133 votes were elected as first and second deputy speakers respectively.

Gholamreza Kateb, Seyyed Amir Hossein Qazizadeh, Akbar Ranjbarzadeh, Ahmad Amirabadi, Mohammad Vakili and Ali Asghar Yousefnejad were elected as the six secretaries of the presiding board and Mohammad Qasim Osmani, Behrouz Nemati and Mohammad Ashouri became observers.

In a speech after taking the oath of office, Larijani expressed hope that lawmakers, feeling a sense of solidarity, will join hands to help solve problems in the country.

The speaker said the Majlis will hold three open sessions next week, the first of which will be on Sunday, with the sixth development plan (2016-21) on the agenda.

The two rounds of parliamentary elections were held in February and April, where the List of Hope, a coalition of reformists and pro-government elements, secured a simple majority and put an end to 12 years of principlist dominance in the assembly.

In recent weeks, the two groups of winners have been campaigning to encourage over 80 independent lawmakers to join their parliamentary factions.