ISSN 2330-717X

What To Expect From Iran’s New Parliament? – OpEd


By Vladimir Sazhin

The recent parliamentary elections in Iran finished with a convincing victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opponents. However, this will hardly change Iran’s home or foreign policy.

The party which won the majority of seats is the United Front of Conservatives. It is hardly necessary to explain what political views members of this party adhere – its name speaks for itself. The party’s leader is Ali Larijani, the parliament’s current speaker, who will most likely hold this post in the new parliament.

Another party which showed good results is the Front of Islamic Iran’s Resistance. Its informal head is Mohsen Rezaee, former Chief Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and once a candidate for the presidency. This party can be characterized as moderate conservatives, pragmatists and technocrats. It is noteworthy that out of all parties which ran for seats in the Iranian parliament, this one proposed the most well-outlined economic program.

The party called “The Front of Islamic Revolution Stability” had predicted the majority of seats for itself, but, against its expectations, won very few seats.

It should be mentioned that there are also very few, if any, representatives of the so-called reforms-backing opposition in the newly elected Iranian parliament. The reason is that the opposition had chosen to boycott the elections. However, analysts say that some representatives of the pro-reforms opposition ran for seats in the parliament as independent candidates. In total, independent candidates won about one third of the seats. But, most likely, there are few representatives of the opposition among them, analysts believe.

In the main points, the results of the voting are already clear, although a second round of the elections will be held in 30 out of the total number of 207 constituencies in Iran.

One of the peculiarities of these elections was that some of the candidates were nominees of more than one party at once. Thus, it is a bit too early to say what the real party makeup of the new Iranian parliament will be before everyone officially determines what particular party he or she represents.

At the same time, as it has already been said, any serious changes in Iran’s both home and foreign policy can hardly be expected. The rivalry between parties will most likely continue, but it won’t reflect much on the government’s policy.

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