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Iran: MPO says Guardian Council's local supervision bureaus "unconstitutional"

Iran's Management and Planning Organization (MPO) on Wednesday called unconstitutional the recent measure taken by the Guardian Council (GC) to establish local bureaus in provinces for implementing approbatory supervision missions, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The MPO in a statement rejected earlier remarks by a GC spokesman that the organization had approved the council's decision, stressing that the GC had evaded the cabinet and the MPO in that connection.

It stressed that under Iran's election laws the GC is authorized to carry out supervision tasks "only at the time of the elections," adding that GC's establishing the bureaus had "no legal ground" and that the measure was "absolutely rejected by the MPO."

Under the Constitution, the Guardian Council 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 elections candidates by interpreting one of its constitutional authorities - approbatory supervision - as a right to make sure that only candidates who meet its standard serve in public offices.

The MPO further stressed that GC's provincial bureaus had merely imposed additional costs to the state budget, warning that the council's measure to establish the bureaus could undermine people's participation in the political arena of the country.

... Payvand News - 7/16/03 ... --

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