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Reformist Council Presents Demands to President
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Reformist Council Presents Demands to President

Reformist Policymaking Council has presented its demands to President Hassan Rouhani in a meeting aimed at furthering interactions between the executive branch and reformists.

A senior reformist, who was present at a recent meeting of the council, told ISNA that the list of demands was drawn up based on the aspirations of pro-reform people, noting that the reformist camp should have a say in the government since they were Rouhani's main backer during the presidential campaign.

"Reformists, as a political camp that threw their weight behind the president, should be answerable to the people. Therefore, we try to do our best to meet people's demands," Jaleh Faramarzian added.

Reformists were instrumental in Rouhani's reelection in the May presidential poll that saw his mandate extended for another four years. They command a relative majority through their Hope faction in the Majlis and won all the seats in the last Tehran City Council election held concurrently with the presidential vote.

  Regular Interactions

Faramarzian said the pressing demand put forward by reformists was to have regular interactions and coordination with the government. The Cabinet members and the president himself should be in tune with the council, if reformists are to help realize the promises made on the campaign trail.

Plans outlined by the president during the election were, at least in general, those that have been pursued by the Hope faction in recent years, she said, noting that greater cooperation between the government and the faction would ensure the reformist lawmakers' support for executive bills in the Majlis, eventually leading to their easier passage.

The Hope faction, comprising mostly reformists and moderates aligned with the president, constitutes a relative majority in the parliament.

Reformists and moderates dethroned the conservatives in the last round of parliamentary election in 2016.

"The reformists have called on the president to hold regular meetings with the council so that they can voice their opinions and criticism, and offer their experiences," she said.

  Selection of Tehran Mayor

According to Faramarzian, the management of the capital Tehran was another issue being raised by the reformists during the council meeting.

"The next Tehran mayor must have appropriate engagement with the Hope faction and the government as well," she said.

The outgoing Tehran mayor, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who also ran for president only to pull out in the end, had many disagreements with Rouhani's administration during his tenure. He often slammed the president for not allocating an adequate budget for Tehran's infrastructure projects, particularly for plans to develop the subway network. He also censured Rouhani during the presidential debates over his economic track record.

Reformists unseated conservatives in the Tehran City Council elections by winning all 21 seats, dealing a heavy blow to the conservative camp. They are set to select the next Tehran mayor next month.

"The president was also encouraged to include more women and young managers in governmental organizations," Faramarzian said, adding that the reformists highlighted the underrepresentation of women in government bodies and asked the president to devise a plan for "giving a more substantial role to women in the administration."

 

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