Leaders of Iran

Monday, December 27, 2004

Speaker Vote Gholam-Ali Hadad Adel196 Hassan Sobhani 55

Al Bahhar.com - Home: "In-law of supreme leader voted conservative-majority parliament speaker

29-05-2004 12:40 G.M.T. TEHRAN (AFP)
Iran's new conservative parliament voted in an in-law of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as its speaker, the first time in the 25-year history of the Islamic republic that a non-cleric has held the post.

Gholam-Ali Hadad Adel, 59, whose daughter is married to Khamenei's son, beat off just one rival -- Hassan Sobhani, also a conservative -- by winning 196 out of the 266 votes cast in the 290-seat Majlis. Sobhani won 55 votes, according to details of the voting carried on state radio.

Religious conservatives hold around 200 of the 290 seats in parliament after overturning the outgoing reformist majority in controversial February polls from which large numbers of their opponents were disqualified.

Another 40 MPs have formed an independent bloc regarded as closer to the conservatives than the reformers.

The previous parliament speaker Mehdi Karoubi -- a close ally of embattled reformist President Mohammad Khatami -- lost his seat in February's elections.

Hadad Adel, who holds a doctorate in philosophy and entered politics relatively late in life after teaching physics at university, contested the polls as head of the Builders of an Islamic Iran party.

He first entered parliament during the 2000 elections, when powerful conservatives moved to annul some 700,000 votes in favour of the reformers.

His party contested this year's controversial polls -- branded as rigged by outgoing reformists -- on a platform of respect for Islam mixed with a pragmatic approach to dealing with Iran's economic problems.

The previous reformist-run parliament was dogged by bitter disputes with regime hardliners as deputies attempted to push through a wealth of social, political and economic changes."

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