Islamic Consultative Assembly
|National Consultative Assembly|
Religious minorities (14)
|2 March and 4 May 2012|
|Islamic Consultative Assembly
The Islamic Consultative Assembly (Persian: مجلس شورای اسلامی Majles-e Showrā-ye Eslāmī), also called the Iranian Parliament, the Iranian Majlis (or Majles, مجلس), or the People's House (خانه ملت), 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.
Imperial State of Iran: National Consultative Assembly
It was created by the Iran Constitution of 1906 and first convened on 6 November 1906 (Iranian Calendar: 1285-Mehr-13), 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 twenty-first National Consultative Assembly, which included female representatives, opened on 6 October 1963.
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.
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politics and government of
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 by the Guardian Council leaving about 3,400 candidates to run for the 290 seats 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, with Khamenei supporters winning a large majority of seats. 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. Although no final election turnout figures were released, state media emphasized that voter turnout was high.
The parliament has "no direct control over key foreign and security policy matters" but some influence over those policies and coming elections. 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.
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%. 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.
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 opposition leader is Masoud Pezeshkian replacing with Mostafa Kavakebian.
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.
Notes and references
- Large scale turn out at polls in IRI March Majlis Elections IRNA
- Mohammad Modarresi (2005). "An Introduction to the history of the Legislative Assembly In Iran: The First Parliament of the National Consultative Assembly (آشنایی با تاریخ مجالس قانونگذاری در ایران: دوره اول مجلس شورای ملی)" (PDF) (in Persian). The Research Center of Islamic Consultative Assembly (مرکز پژوهشهای مجلس شورای اسلامی).
- Abrahamian, History of Modern Iran, (2008), p. 179
- Islamic Majles, Ashnai-ye Ba Majles-e Showra-ye Islami, Vol.ii (Guide to the Islamic Majles, Tehran, 1992, p. 205
- Iran elections clouded by doubts Al Jazeera, 2 March 2012
- Elections in Iran Favor Ayatollah’s Allies, Dealing Blow to President and His Office Neil MacFarquhar, The New York Times, 4 March 2012
- Iran Elections 2012: Ahmadinejad Routed By Rivals The Huff Post, Ali Akbar Dareini 5 May 2012
- On Women’s Day, struggle for equality remains, Kyiv Post (8 March 2012)
- Central Bank of Iran. Banknotes & Coins: 100 Rials. – Retrieved on 24 March 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Majlis.|
- 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.
- Interparliamentary Union (IPU) summary of Majlis of Iran election preparations and/or outcomes (translated into English)
- Iran Electoral Archive - Iranian Parliament
- Iran’s ninth parliament PressTV (2012)
- Parliamentary election in Iran (I) (II) (III) (IV) (V) (VI) (VII) Second Round PressTV (2012)
- Video Archive of Iran's Parliament
- Kourosh Esmāili, People & Power: The Iranian Campaign, Aljazeera, YouTube, April 2008: Part 1 Part 2