The new Iranian Parliament opened its first session today, Sunday, with a letter from Iran’s Supreme Leader urging the representatives to refrain from “uncalled for challenges” with the other branches of government.
The session was attended by the representatives of all the top government bodies, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani and Ayatollah Amoli Larijani.
Ali Larijani and Gholamali Haddad Adel are vying to head the new Presiding Board of Parliament and become the Speaker of Parliament. The two candidates enjoy the support of different conservative groups and both have served as head of Parliament in the past.
Two-thirds of the Parliament is reportedly comprised of new MPs. There has been a notable reduction in the number of clerics in Parliament. The eighth Parliament included 44 members of the clergy while in the ninth one there are only 27.
The last Parliament was in constant dispute with the Ahmadinejad administration, which explains Ayatollah Khamenei’s warning against “uncalled for challenges” among the branches of government.
Ahmadinejad and his allies reportedly have little support in this Parliament, and analysts report that their attempts to gain a foothold in the legislative branch through the elections were in vain.