Principlist Faction Split Aimed at Enhancing Efficiency

Principlist Faction Split Aimed at  Enhancing Efficiency Principlist Faction Split Aimed at  Enhancing Efficiency

The head of a parliamentary sub-faction comprising staunch principlists said the Tuesday decision to split the Velayat Faction was intended to end a lack of consensus that had rendered it ineffective.

Speaking to ICANA on Friday, Hamidreza Hajibabaei also said last year's establishment of Velayat Faction was aimed at putting principlists in the majority, but he and his friends later found they could ill afford to keep going as they had difficulties with the decision-making process.

"Our view is different than those of [independents], so we shouldn't be responsible for decisions we do not approve of," he said.

The breakup of the faction led by Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani brought to light broad differences between true-blue principlists who are chief opponents of the newly-reelected President Hassan Rouhani and principlist-leaning independents who are aligned with the chief executive.

The last Majlis elections held in two rounds in February and April 2016 saw a coalition of reformists and moderates loyal to Rouhani breaking the chain of three principlist victories in the parliamentary vote. The coalitions' faction dubbed "Hope" is the other major bloc in Iran's parliament.

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The lawmaker said the decision to separate was hard to make, but it was "inevitable".

"It would allow us to make decisions independently. Of course, we will have strong interactions with other factions," he said.

Hajibabaei said the formation of the principlist faction in the runup to the formation of the next Cabinet has "its special message".

Rouhani's mandate was extended in the May 19 presidential vote by 23 million plus votes out of a total 41 million ballots cast.

Rouhani is scheduled to take the oath of office in the parliament on August 5 and he will have two weeks from the swearing-in ceremony to propose his Cabinet members to parliament for a vote of confidence. The Majlis will examine the credentials of candidates in one week and the aspirants will then appear before lawmakers to outline their plans of action.

The lawmaker said he and his colleagues will act in unison to help the government address the country's challenges, adding that the faction would task some of its members to lobby the government on the makeup of the next Cabinet.

"We hope that our faction would help the Majlis become more effective and respond to popular demands for creating jobs, [improving] economy and monitoring [the government]," he said.

Hajibabaei said the faction has received a high number of admission requests and it will announce the number of its members in the near future.

Mohsen Kouhkan, a senior member of the faction, told Mehr News Agency on Friday that the faction is estimated to be 115-strong.


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