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6/21/03

Iran: Guardian Council returns bill on localizing parliamentary polls to Parliament

The supervisory Guardian Council (GC) has returned a Majlis bill on localizing parliamentary polls to the chamber for further amendment of several cases that it says are against the Constitution and the Sharia law, IRNA reported from Tehran on Saturday quoting the local press.

The Persian-language newspaper `Jomhuri-Ye Eslami' reported that the GC believes the bill could trigger "local, tribal and religious" disputes, and that was against the Sharia law as it would undermine national unity and solidarity.

The council stressed that the bill could increase public expenses, and would also lead to a decrease in people's participation in the polls, adding that these respectively contradicted Article 75 as well as Clause 8 of Article 3 of the Constitution.

It also said the bill overlooked the need to remove discrimination and to provide equal services for all as envisaged by the Constitution in Clause 9 of Article 3.

The Majlis last month overwhelmingly approved a bill on changing the election law for parliamentary polls that once enforced would make each province an electoral district.

Under the bill, the constituencies of elections will be the geographical boundaries of each province.

It stipulates that the candidates for parliamentary polls must be from a city in the province, and that those who win the highest number of votes in the province will get a seat at the Majlis as the representatives of the city or the province.

The MPs had approved that the number of candidates from a city will be decided according to the law determining the constituency of parliamentary polls passed in 1987, and the further amendments to the law.

Also, the candidates must be born in the city they will represent in the Majlis, have previously been an MP from there or lived there for at least two years.

The Majlis also agreed to consider religious minorities an exemption to the bill.

... Payvand News - 6/21/03 ... --



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