Iran’s Parliament Re-elects Bagher Qalibaf as Speaker

Tue May 28 2024
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TEHRAN: Iran’s parliament on Tuesday re-elected Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf as its speaker, reaffirming its right-wing stance following a tragic helicopter crash that left the country’s president Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian dead.

Qalibaf secured 198 out of 287 votes, maintaining the position he has held since 2021. Prior to his parliamentary role, he served for 12 years as Tehran’s mayor, in which he built significant infrastructure projects including the expansion of the city’s subway system and the construction of modern skyscrapers.

Challenger Mojtaba Zonnouri, a hardline cleric and former head of parliament’s national security commission, garnered 60 votes, while former foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki received five.

Qalibaf, a trained pilot who served in the Revolutionary Guard during the Iran-Iraq War served as the head of the Guard’s construction arm, Khatam Al-Anbia, for several years leading efforts to rebuild after the conflict. He has also served as the head of the Guard’s air force.

Qalibaf’s failed presidential bids in 2005, 2013, and 2017 underscore his ambitions for higher office, with his last bid in 2017 being withdrawn in favour of the late Ebrahim Raisi, who later became president.

With presidential elections scheduled for June 28, Iran faces a pivotal moment as it seeks to elect a new leader following the tragic loss of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in a helicopter crash on May 19.

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