Principlists prioritize economy for next Majlis

Tehran, Dec 31, IRNA – Spokesman of Principlist Coalition Council Gholamali Haddad-Adel mentioned economy as the watchword for principlist representatives in the fifth Majlis.

Speaking in a press conference on Wednesday, Haddad-Adel said encouraging domestic production and promoting Resistance Economy, a set of guidelines to reduce the country’s reliance on oil exports, would be the main focus of principlists, Fars News Agency reported. Iranian people are scheduled to cast their votes in the parliamentary elections on February 26, 2016, concurrent with that of Experts Assembly.

Haddad-Adel, a senior lawmaker and former Majlis speaker, said only an ‘independent’ parliament would benefit the country.

‘Our efforts are aimed at helping form a powerful and popular parliament that helps the government by making constructive criticism, upholding harmony and unanimity,’ he said.

On the electoral efforts of the council, headed by Secretary-General of Combatant Clergy Association Ayatollah Ali Movahedi Kermani, he said the body is tasked with enabling all principlist factions to make collective efforts to win the elections.

‘Although there are various political preferences among principlists, the coalition aims to be inclusive and gather them all in one place,’ he said.
‘Experiences have taught principlist groups to put aside differences and not highlight their party affiliations. Members of the coalition are participating as principlists.’

To select suitable candidates, Haddad-Adel said the coalition is waiting for the Guardians Council to release the final list of qualified candidates, which is planned for February 16, 2016.

‘For now, the council is busy devising its general policies based on which the candidates can be selected,’ he explained. Haddad-Adel noted that to have an efficient parliament, candidates who are specialized in economics and those who have administrative experience are preferred.

‘Groups of people such as women, laborers, athletes and clergies should have representatives in the parliament, too,’ he said. Asked whether Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, who has registered for the parliamentary election and is widely known to be a principlist, will join the effort or not, Haddad-Adel said the coalition has held talks with Larijani in this regard, without mentioning the outcome of discussions.

‘We hope that Mr. Larijani will soon appoint his representative to participate in the meetings of the coalition,’ he said. There are 290 seats in the Iranian Parliament elected by the direct vote of people in nationwide elections for four years.

In one-third of the polling stations, for the first time, ballot boxes will be replaced by electronic voting machines, which would reduce the time required for announcing the results to a few hours from several days in the previous Majlis elections.