Gov’t Backs Larger Role for Political Parties

Gov’t Backs Larger Role for Political Parties
Gov’t Backs Larger Role for Political Parties

A senior official says the Interior Ministry backs efforts by the House of Parties to increase the role of parties in internal politics.

“The government considers itself committed to support parties and political associations,” said Deputy Interior Minister for Political Affairs Mohammad Hossein Moqimi in a ceremony to open the new office of the House of Parties in Tehran on Monday, IRNA reported. Moqimi said it was one of the election promises of President Hassan Rouhani to reopen the House of Parties.

“In this government, the Interior Ministry put the issue on its agenda and after several meetings with parties, the House of Parties was reopened [last year],” he said. The deputy minister said the house has a new management would help prevent possible future closures.

Moqimi said before the new team there were disputes in the body that originated from the fact that its management was completely the monopoly of the camp whose parties were in the majority, sometimes principlists and sometimes reformists.

  Bipartisan Management

“Now, all parties of different persuasions have their role in managing the House of Parties.”

Based on the new mechanism, parties are categorized into principlist, reformist and independent, and will chair the house on a rotating basis.

“In the first year, principlists had the presiding seat and this year, independents chair the body,” he said.  Last year, principlist politician Hassan Ghafourifard, from the Islamic Coalition Party, was elected to head the House of Parties.

This year’s vote was held on August 15, in which Qodrat Ali Heshmatian, leader of Iran’s Independent Moderation Party, was picked as new chairman. Moqimi added that the government is willing to subsidize political parties to help them increase their activities.  “Political activities, like cultural and social activities, should be supported by the government,” he said.

“In the budget [amendment] bill, we included an article to pay subsidies to active parties,” he said, calling on the Majlis to approve the proposal to help develop the domestic political landscape.