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Iranian Speaker Elections Spark Parliamentary Controversy - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London- Iran’s parliament announced on Sunday delaying the session for electing leading roles at the Islamic Consultative Assembly to next Wednesday amid intensifying competition between three key parliamentary blocs.

The Hope reformist bloc that supported Iran’s recently re-elected President Hassan Rouhani accused a number of ministers of the government of seeking to overthrow Tehran representative and Second Deputy Speaker Ali Motahari and replacing him with a deputy governor.

Pervasive Coalition of Reformists, named The List of Hope, and led by Mohammad Khatami is the sole coalition and electoral list affiliated with the Iranian reform movement for the Iranian legislative election, 2016.

A number of reformist MPs warned that continued meddling in parliamentary elections would result in ending the alliance between moderate and reformist blocs.

The main competition for the three top parliament posts is expected to intensify after reformist deputies revealed attempts to topple deputies backing the current reformist First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Masoud Pezeshkian and Motahari.

Reformists backed a list of 236 candidates for the Parliament and 77 for the Assembly of Experts, even though many of them are not reformists but moderate-leaning figures.

Motahari enjoys the support of the reformist bloc of 158 out of 290 deputies.

The Iranian parliament had elected Ali Larijani to head the body in 2016, after winning an overwhelming majority of 237 out of 276 votes cast.

Larijani was supported by the reformist bloc. First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Pezeshkian won his post with 158 votes to 133 that were cast to Motahari’s favor.

Rouhani had gathered smashing support from center-right MPs such as Larijani, which is reassuring amid clashes closing in between the re-elected president’s party and reformists.

Political onlookers see that a number of far-right MPs, leading an alliance with a handful of unlisted MPs, would seriously challenge Rouhani’s administration.