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Former Guards Air Force Commander Elected Iran Speaker

Former Guards Air Force Commander Elected Iran Speaker

Thursday, 28 May, 2020 - 07:45
Iranian lawmakers attend the opening ceremony of Iran's 11th parliament, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Tehran, Iran, May 27, 2020. Official Presidential website/Handout via REUTERS

Iranian lawmakers elected former Revolutionary Guards air force commander Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf on Thursday as parliament speaker for one year.

State TV said 230 lawmakers, out of 264, voted for Qalibaf, who served as Tehran’s mayor from 2005 to 2017.

Qalibaf ran unsuccessfully in two presidential races and was forced to drop out of a third to avoid splitting the hardline vote. He revived his political ambitions by standing for parliament.

Thursday's vote saw Qalibaf succeed Ali Larijani, who had held the post since 2008.

Separately, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appointed Larijani as his adviser and member of the Expediency Council, a body intended to resolve disputes between parliament and the Guardian Council.

The Guardian Council must approve all candidates for elections in Iran, including for parliament.

The Council disqualified thousands of moderate and leading conservative candidates from taking part in Iran's Feb. 21 parliamentary election, leaving voters to choose mainly between hardline and low-key conservative candidates loyal to Khamenei.

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