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Majlis of Iran

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Majlis of Iran

National Consultative Assembly
32nd Majles
Type
Type Unicameral
Leadership
Speaker Ali Larijani, (C)
Since 2 May 2008
First Deputy Speaker Mohammad-Reza Bahonar, (C)
Since 26 May 2011
Second Deputy Speaker Masoud Mir Kazemi, (C)
Since 28 May 2012
Leader of Minority Masoud Pezeshkian, (R)
Since 5 June 2012
Structure
Seats 290
Political groups      Conservatives (182)
     Reformists (75)
     Independents (19)
     Religious minorities (14)
Elections
Last election 2 March and 4 May 2012
Meeting place
File:Parliament of Iran 2.jpg
Islamic Consultative Assembly
Baharestan
Tehran
Iran
Website
http://www.icana.ir/

The Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran (Persian: Majles-e Shorâ-ye Eslami(مجلس شورای اسلامی), lit. Majles), also called The Iranian Parliament or People's House, is the national legislative body of Iran. The Parliament currently has 290 representatives, changed from the previous 272 seats since the 18 February 2000 election. The recent election took place on 2 March 2012 and the new parliament was opened on 27 May 2012.[1]

History

Imperial State of Iran: National Consultative Assembly

Before the Islamic Revolution, Majlis was also the name of the lower house of the Iranian Legislature from 1906 to 1979, the upper house being the Senate.

It was created by the Iran Constitution of 1906 and first convened on 6 November 1906 (Iranian Calendar: 1285-Mehr-13),[2] soon gaining power under the rule of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Noteworthy bills passed by the Parliament under the Pahlavi Dynasty include the Oil Nationalization Bill (15 March 1951) and the Family Protection Law (1967), which gave women many basic rights such as custody of children in the case of divorce.

Women were not allowed to vote or be elected to the Parliament until 1963, as part of reforms under the Shah's "White Revolution". The reforms were regarded as dangerous, Westernizing trends by traditionalists, especially by the powerful Shia religious leaders, including Ayatollah Khomeini. The events led to a revolt on 5 June 1963 and the exile of Khomeini to Iraq. The twenty-first National Consultative Assembly, which included female representatives, opened on 6 October 1963.

The last session of the Pre-Revolution Parliament was held on 7 February 1979 (18 Bahman 1357 AP[2]).

Islamic Republic of Iran: Islamic Consultative Assembly

After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the Senate was abolished and was effectively replaced by the Guardian Council thus the Iranian legislature remained bicameral. In the 1989 revision of the constitution, the National Consultative Assembly became the Islamic Consultative Assembly.

The Parliament of Iran has had six chairmen since the Iranian Revolution. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was the first chairman, from 1980 to 1989. Then came Mehdi Karroubi (1989–1992), Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri (1992–2000), Mehdi Karroubi (2000–2004), Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel (2004–2008) and Ali Larijani since 2008.

Over its history the Parliament is said to have evolved from being "a debating chamber for notables," to "a club for the shah's placemen" during the Pahlavi era, to a body dominated by members of "the propertied middle class" under the Islamic Republic.[3][4]

2012 election

The last elections of Parliament of Iran were held on 2 March 2012 with a second round on 4 May 2012 in those 65 districts where no candidate received 25% or more of the votes cast. More than 5,000 candidates registered but more than a third were disqualified[5] by the Guardian Council leaving about 3,400 candidates to run for the 290 seat representing the 31 provinces.

The election has been described by journalists and analysts "as a contest between" Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,[5] with Khamenei supporters winning a large majority of seats.[6] Iranian officials and state media have described the election as a sign of Iranians' trust in the Islamic Republic and a message to the West rejecting pressure over Iran's nuclear program.[6][7] Although no final election turnout figures were released,[7] state media emphasized that voter turnout was high.[7]

The parliament has "no direct control over key foreign and security policy matters" but some influence over those policies and coming elections.[7] In the wake of the crushing of reformist protest against the 2009 election results, few if any reformist candidates were allowed by the Guardian Council to run.

Members

Currently, the Parliament's 290 members, fourteen of whom represent non-Muslim religious minorities, are popularly elected for four-year terms. About 8% of the Parliament are women, while the global average is 13%.[8] The Parliament can force the dismissal of cabinet ministers by no-confidence votes and can impeach the president for misconduct in office. Although the executive proposes most new laws, individual deputies of the Parliament also may introduce legislation. Deputies also may propose amendments to bills being debated. The Parliament also drafts legislation, ratifies international treaties, and approves the national budget.

All People's House of Iran candidates and all legislation from the assembly must be approved by the Guardian Council. Candidates must pledge in writing that they are committed, in theory and in practice, to the Iranian constitution.

Leadership

Members of Parliament elect their speaker and deputy speakers during the first session of Parliament for a one year term. Every year, almost always in May, elections for new speakers are held in which incumbents may be re-elected.

The current Speaker of Parliament is Ali Larijani, with First Deputy Speaker Mohammad-Reza Bahonar and Second Deputy Speaker Masoud Mir Kazemi. The oppossition leader is Masoud Pezeshkian replacing with Mostafa Kavakebian.

Building

From 1979, the Parliament had convened at the building that used to house the Senate of Iran. A new building was built for the Assembly at Baharestan Square in central Tehran, near the old Iranian Parliament's building that was used from 1906 to 1979. After several debates, the move was finally approved in 2004. The first session of the Parliament was held on 16 November 2004 in the new building.

The old building is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 100 rials banknote.[9]

See also

Iran portal
Islam portal
Politics portal

Notes and references

External links

  • The official website of the Majlis of Iran
  • Laws and minutes of meetings of the Majlis of Iran (1906-1979) (persian)
  • History of Iran: Constitutional Revolution, a history of Majlis from 1906 to 1953
  • Iranian Ministry of Interior on the history of elections in Iran
  • A report on moving the Majles to Baharestan
  • The Council of Guardians, Official website.
  • The Majles, Iran's parliament news service.
  • Iran Electoral Archive - Iranian Parliament
Videos
  • PressTV (2012)
  • Second Round PressTV (2012)
  • Kourosh Esmāili, People & Power: The Iranian Campaign, Aljazeera, YouTube, April 2008: Part 2

Coordinates: 35°41′30.28″N 51°26′04″E / 35.6917444°N 51.43444°E / 35.6917444; 51.43444

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