Monday Dec 03, 201203:54 PM GMT
Majlis runoff polls gain momentum
Tue May 1, 2012 6:7PM
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The countdown to a tough campaign for Majlis runoff elections continues in Iran with 130 candidates vying for the remaining 65 seats of the 290-seat legislative body, Press TV reports.


The 130 candidates running for the second round of parliamentary elections, to be held on Friday, are using all the viable channels to outline their plans.

In Tehran, the competition is even more intense with 50 candidates vying for 25 seats.

Meanwhile the competition is tight between the two main Principlist groups, the United Principlist Front (UPF) and the Perseverance Front.

Principlists have already secured a majority in the Majlis by wining at least 180 of the 290 seats of the legislative body in the first round.

The UPF says their primary objective in the Ninth parliament is to improve the country’s economy.

“There are some short- and long-term plans to improve economy. The comprehensive economic plan includes all the different necessary aspects,” said prominent UPF lawmaker Assadollah Badamchian.

On the other hand, the Perseverance Front which mostly includes former members of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s cabinet has set rather different goals.

“A positive discourse can help create an environment in which the government can implement the laws passed by the parliament. We will try to create that kind of atmosphere,” said Perseverance Front candidate and former Health Minister Kamran Baqeri Lankarani.

Observers say in the new parliament the interactions between the two Principlist groups will determine the parliament's performance.

“President Ahmadinejad’s term in office will end almost a year after the Ninth parliament convenes and it is very important for the lawmakers to make sure that the law is implemented properly. By then, giving the vote of confidence to the next administration might be the toughest challenge that lies ahead,” said Principlist lawmaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar.

While the results of the runoff are still unpredictable, early discussions are heating up to choose the new parliament speaker. Although Speaker Ali Larijani still has a great chance to remain in the post for another four years, former parliament speaker Gholamali Haddah Adel might take the lead.

ASH/PKH/IS
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