Iran’s parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, who oversaw lawmakers’s unprecedented public questioning of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was re-elected to the position today, state media reported.
Larijani, who has headed the parliament for the past four years, was returned to his post after winning 173 votes, ahead of his political rival, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, who received 100 votes, the state-run Press TV news channel reported.
The new Iranian parliament, which was formed after elections earlier this year and consists of a majority of opponents of the president, was sworn in yesterday.
In March, Ahmadinejad became the first president in the history of the Islamic Republic to be summoned by parliament and questioned about allegations of political and economic mismanagement. Ahmadinejad has also been criticized for failing to show sufficient allegiance to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s highest authority.
Larijani is a former top nuclear negotiator who stepped down from his post following clashes with the president. He ran against Ahmadinejad in the 2005 election and is seen as a potential candidate in next year’s presidential race. Ahmadinejad has been in office for two consecutive four-year terms and isn’t allowed to run again.
Larijani will be the interim speaker until two thirds of the lawmakers’ credentials are approved, according to the state-run Fars news agency said. Temporary speakers have traditionally gone on to become permanent, according to Associated Press.
Larijani’s brother Sadegh heads the Iranian judiciary and another brother, Mohammad Javad, is an adviser to Khamenei.