By Arash Karami, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.
With only 25% of deputies in Iran’s current parliament returning to office when their term ends on May 27, the fate of current speaker of parliament Ali Larijani, who has held the position for the last eight years, will be the first major battle of the 10th parliament.
Iran’s parliament, known as the Islamic Consultative Assembly, has been overwhelmingly dominated by conservatives and hard-liners since the 2012 election, an election Reformists largely boycotted. With the runoff elections in April, however, Reformists and moderates now have the largest faction, with 121 seats, while conservatives and independents have 83 and 81 seats, respectively.
These results pave the way for former Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref, who was elected May 17 to lead the Reformist “Hope faction” in parliament, to challenge Larijani.
On May 17, an article in Tabnak website wrote that given the changes in parliament, “without a doubt, the makeup of parliament’s leadership board will change.” Aside from the speakership, the parliament’s leadership board includes two deputy speakers, six secretaries and three observers. Members of parliament elect the leadership board in a direct vote for one-year terms.