Reformists Eye Control of Majlis Presiding Board

Reformists Eye Control of  Majlis Presiding BoardReformists Eye Control of  Majlis Presiding Board

Head of a parliamentary faction of independent lawmakers says the reformist-moderate faction has started lobbying for an outright victory in annual elections for the Majlis Presiding Board, rejecting offers to find a compromise that will give the two groups and the principlist faction a "fair share" on the board.    

Tehran lawmaker Kazem Jalali made the statement in a talk with ICANA on Wednesday, pointing to next Sunday's vote for the 12-member board, the second in the four-year term of the current legislature.  

Jalali said the reformist-moderate faction also wants to unseat longtime Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani. Principlist Larijani, a former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, has held the post in the two preceding chambers.  

In last year's vote for speaker, Larijani won a literally uncontested competition and was reelected chairman, extending his eight-year consecutive speakership for another year.

Reformist Mohammad Reza Aref, the top vote-getter in the 2016 parliamentary election in Tehran, refused to run after suffering a 173 to 103 defeat by Larijani in the vote for interim speaker.

In separate elections for other seats of the 12-member board, reformist Massoud Pezeshkian and moderate Ali Motahhari were elected as first and second deputy speakers respectively.

Three principlists and three reformists and three independents were also elected to the six seats for secretaries and three as  observers.

Jalali said he believes the three factions should keep their current share in the presiding board, and leaders of the principlist faction agree with him.

The lawmaker warned the reformist-moderate alliance that their "unilateral approach" would provoke divisions, at a time when people want to see a united and harmonious parliament.

"We seek compromise and interaction, as the parliament ought to focus on big challenges facing the country such as [high] unemployment [rate] and economic difficulties."

  Hat Trick

Although it seems a tough job, but an overwhelming win for the reformist-moderate coalition in the race for Majlis Presiding Board would produce a hat trick of victories this year.

The candidate backed by the coalition in last Friday's crucial presidential race, Hassan Rouhani, won by a wide margin. In the city council polls held concurrent with the presidential election, the alliance swept all 21 seats in Tehran.  

It also secured a simple majority in the 2016 Majlis elections, depriving the principlist camp of its ironclad grip on the past three parliaments.


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