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Khatami has to resign if his twin bills are rejected: cleric

Tehran, Jan 27, IRNA -- A prominent Iranian theoretician has advised President Mohammad Khatami to quit power if his two bills, including one to boost presidential prerogatives, are rejected by the supervisory Guardians Council.

"Khatami's delayed presentation of the bills to the Majlis (Parliament) was a last-ditch step (in his commitments) to the people. My proposal to Khatami is that he resign in case the bills are not approved," the daily Hambastegi Monday cited Mohsen Kadivar as saying.

Stating that he needed more power to carry out his constitutional obligations, the Iranian president first announced last August his intention to present the bills "in order to respond better to the aspirations of the people".

The two bills have received an overwhelming backing of the parliament, pending further screening before becoming a full-blown law amid opponent claims that they were contrary to the Constitution and risked giving way to dictatorship.

"Rejection of the bills means that the president lacks the possibility to fulfill his duties, which have explicitly been spelled out in the Constitution...and had better quit," Hambastegi quoted Kadivar as saying.

The bill on presidential power redefines the president's authority 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.

The other bill on the electoral law seeks to dispense with the need for Guardians Council to vet candidates for key state posts.

President Khatami has brushed off the 'ballyhoo' made by the opponents of a bill to bolster his power, saying he was hopeful about the Guardians Council's cooperation in passing it.

Its opponents, however, say the bill had led to an overlapping of supervisory and executive powers in the sense that it left the door open for the president to intervene in supervisory issues while he was only entrusted with execution of the law.

... Payvand News - 1/27/03 ... --

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