New Groupings in the Eighth Majlis
With the completion of the elections for the eight Majlis (Iranian Parliament), and with the results of many precincts yet to be determined in run-off races, the groups affiliated with the Principalist camp, who have achieved a numerical majority in the Majlis, are reportedly divided over various issues.
The Broad Principalist Coalition, in Persian known as the Etelaafe Faragire Osoolgarayan (composed of candidates critical of the administration), has already begun opposing the United Principalist Front, known as the Jebhe Motahed Osoolgaran (composed of candidates supporting the administration). The former group has begun speaking of a different choice to head the Majlis, one other than Haddad Adel (United Principalist Front’s leading candidate).
Amir Ali Amiri, the campaign manager of the Broad Principalist Coalition noted in his first press conference following the eight Majlis elections that 45 percent of the Coalition’s candidates had been elected to the Majlis, warning the administration, “The eight Majlis is going to be one in which those critical of the administration will have a majority. However, these critical principalists are united and if the administration continues to implement policies opposed to by principalists, the majority in the eights Majlis will be opposed to it.”
Amiri's remarks are a response to the remarks of Ali Asghar Zarei, the spokesperson for the rival United Principalist Front. Earlier, Zarei had told ISNA student news agency, "The results that have been finalized are in fact considered a victory," adding, "We hope that the eight Majlis will be supportive and cooperative with the administration."
The Broad Principalist Coalition's campaign manager also commented on the position of the speaker of the Majlis: "Our candidate to preside over the Majlis is Ali Larijani, and just as we were opposed to the presence of Mohammad Reza Bahonar [a staunch supporter of administration] as deputy speaker in seventh Majlis, we will be opposed to his service as such in the eight Majlis as well."
Amiri commented on the empowerment of the faction critical of the administration: "The Broad Coalition has sent 45 percent of its candidates across the country to the Majlis. We have announced in our coalition that we support Rezaei, Ghalibad, and Larijani, and the candidates that were listed on our slates were people who, while being principlists, were critical of the administration."
The spokesperson for the Broad Coalition concluded that "The results of this election do not constitute a victory for the administration" and added, "Not even all of the candidates listed on the United Front's slate are completely supportive of the administration, and we were frankly amazed by the presence of some of them on the United Front's slate."
Amiri also referred to election violations by supporters of the administration: "We ask the Guardian Council to confront possible violations. A sad development that took place during these elections was violations committed by the United Front, including illegal campaigning by some of their candidates on election day, which was against the law."