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Iran's Parliament Speaker: Consensus emerging with Guardian Council on new election law

Majlis Speaker Hojjatoleslam Mehdi Karroubi said on Tuesday that consensus is emerging between the parliament and the Guardian Council on the new election law, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The parliament passed a legislation last month taking back the extra authority the fifth parliament had given to the Guardian Council. But the legislation has yet to receive an okay from the Guardian Council.

The Guardian Council said so far that the body is keen on protecting the extra authority, but, the parliament argues that the Guardian Council should limit its authority to what is stipulated in the Constitution.

Karroubi said that the issue will be resolved if the Guardian Council reaches the point that the new election law will serve national interest.

"Consultations and informal contacts are going on to form a consensus about the benefits of the new election law. Such a consensus is taking shape and I can say that the parliament will persuade the Guardian Council to confirm the new election law,"

The extra authority given by the fifth parliament to the Guardian Council, empowers the body to turn down the application of those seeking to run for the parliamentary election.

Such a practice is counter to the platform of President Mohammad Khatami who promised to work for promoting free elections in the country.

The Guardian Council rejected several applicants in 1999 parliamentary election causing dismay in the reform camp.

Constitutionally, the Interior Ministry is in charge of examining the eligibility of the candidates and holding the elections.

The Constitution has given the Guardian Council a supervisory role in the elections.

The Guardian Council mainly ensures that the legislation passed by the parliament are in conformity with the Constitution.

... Payvand News - 4/23/03 ... --

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