Iran’s hard-liners in tug of war over parliament speakership

Al-Monitor | Sarbas Nazari: Iran’s new parliament, which is to be inaugurated May 28, is seeing an spirited battle between a number of lawmakers seeking to occupy the speaker’s post.

For 12 consecutive years, Ali Larijani maintained a tight grip on the position, earning the title of Iran’s longest-serving speaker. However, the influential politician decided not to run for the new parliament, triggering speculation that he will run in the 2021 presidential election.

With Larijani departing, the fight is on for the powerful position. The Feb. 21 election resulted in an easy landslide victory for the conservative camp after their traditional Reformist foes were overwhelmingly purged by the Guardian Council, the ultraconservative body in charge of A-to-Z electoral supervision, including who is qualified to run.

The one-sided competition also witnessed a record-low turnout, with unprecedented voter apathy in the capital, Tehran, where only 26% of those eligible showed up at the ballot box, bringing into question the winners’ overall legitimacy. Of the 289 members of the 11th parliament, fewer than two dozen are of Reformist or moderate leanings.

Read more here