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Iran President says will not forward twin reform bills to Expediency Council

President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran on Wednesday that he would not forward his twin bills on promoting presidential powers and reforming the electoral law to the Expediency Council (EC), IRNA reported.

"I will not send my bills to the EC," Khatami told reporters after a cabinet meeting, adding that he hoped the dispute between the Majlis and the Guardian Council (GC) on the electoral law would be resolved before the elections for the seventh Majlis.

Khatami presented the twin bills to the Majlis last September as what he said could enable him to better deliver on his promises to the people and to actualize people's aspirations.

The bill on presidential power redefines Khatami's prerogatives by highlighting the president's right to warn any of the highest ranking officials of the three constitutional powers whenever needed and mete out punishment in case the warning is not heeded.

Also, the bill on amending the electoral law has been basically drawn up to address the GC's prerogative of approbatory supervision.

Under the Constitution, the GC is authorized to reject Majlis legislation which it deems contrary to the Sharia law of Islam or the Constitution.

After the fourth Majlis, however, the GC expanded its domain of responsibility to decide the competency of election candidates by interpreting one of its constitutional authorities - approbatory supervision - as a right to ensure that only candidates who meet its standards are allowed to run for public office.

The government has announced that Khatami's bill on amending the electoral law is meant to increase people's participation in elections and reduce wanton disqualification of elections hopefuls.

The GC has rejected both the bills.

... Payvand News - 8/13/03 ... --

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