Ali Larijani, a moderate conservative, retained the speakership of Iran’s parliament despite major gains for reformists in February elections, benefiting from credit gained by his cooperation with the government of pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani in approving Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers last year.
Ali Larijani was re-elected on Sunday, May 29, as the temporary speaker of Iran’s new parliament which is dominated by first-term deputies, as he won 173 votes in the 290-seat assembly, state media reported.
Senior reformist Mohammad Reza Aref received 103 votes; noting that the latter had been the top vote-getter in the parliamentary race in Tehran, according to state media.
A vote for a permanent speaker is due to be held in the next few days, after the full house approves the credentials of individual MPs, as required by Iran’s constitution.
Elected in February, the parliament replaced one dominated by hardliners suspicious of detente with the West and who curbed Rouhani’s plans to liberalise the economy and raise lacklustre productivity. Pro-Rouhani candidates raised their representation and 60 percent of MPs are first-timers.