The political outcome of the Parliamentary elections may be a "mish-mash", with the Supreme Leader as the likely victor in his ability to control the legislature as well as the President, but the first battle of the new Majlis is shaping up --- and it's not directly about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Current Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, despite his allegiance to Ayatollah Khamenei, faces a serious challenge for his position. Unsurprisingly, his challenges to the Government have aroused the animosity of Ahmadinejad supporters, and he now has to contend with the alternative of Gholam Ali Haddad Adel --- former Speaker of Parliament, officially the top vote-getter in Tehran's Parliamentary ballot, and a member of the Supreme Leader's inner circle (his daughter is married to Khamenei's son Mojtaba).
An Iranian correspondent for EA surveys the situation....
As the outgoing Parliament convened on Sunday, the pro-Ahmadinejad Hamid Rasaei was sitting next to Haddad Adel, engaged in earnest conversation. Other members of the Islamic Constancy Front, generally hostile to Larijani, such as Ruhollah Hosseinian and Ali Asghar Zarei were also seen speaking with Haddad Adel.
Sadegh Mahsouli --- a member of the Constancy Front, former Minister of Interior, and a close friend of Ahmadinejad ---- was more cautious in the challenge: "The head of parliament must be able to utilise all the capacity of the parliament and the country to make the legislations and laws. Haddad Adel is one of the Constancy Front's main candidates for the parliament spokesman, but we have to wait for the new parliament to form before making any decision."
Some critics of Ahmadinejad, such as Elyas Naderan, are also expressing a preference for Haddad Adel.
Meanwhile, the current Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar is trying to steady the current Speaker's position: “Ali Larijani is the most popular person among MPs and has the necessary ability to create interaction among all legislators. In the current Parliament, there was no one like Larijani who had such comprehensive, decisive, and strong viewpoints."
Ezzatollah Yousefian, MP for Amol, told Fars that about 80 MPs gathered to invite Larijani to speak for them.
The Iran watchers at the American Enterprise Institute add that Tehran-based analyst Sadegh Zibakalam, who has been more optimistic than others, about Ahmadinejad's fate in the recent elections, sees a move not only against Larijani but also others: "With the relative success of some prominent characters of the [Constancy] Front, I believe that the Front and Mr. Ahmadinejad will try to remove Mr. Larijani, Bahonar and [Larijani relative and leading MP Ahmad] Tavakoli from their positions and appoint Mr. Haddad-Adel as Parliamentary Speaker."