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Iran's parliament partially raises president's constitutional powers

Majlis on Monday partially increased presidential prerogatives by approving two points of a related four-point bill proposed by government, reported IRNA from Tehran.

Majlis, in its final session in the current Iranian year of 1381 (to end on March 20), authorized the president to assign a team of legal and executive experts to supervise, examine and follow up the proper implementation of the Constitution.

All related organs would thus be duty-bound to extend necessary cooperation to the team and provide it with required explanations and information within a period of maximum two months after receiving the request and assisting it with the inspection.

Under the note, violators would be subject to three months to one year of suspension from government service.

Iranian president would under the bill have the duty to take necessary action against violations of the Constitution, if any, and inform superiors of the offenders at three branches of government on the issue and seek reason for inaction, violation or failure to look into the cases.

The authorities concerned would thus have the duty to offer explanations to the President on the case(s) and due reason(s) within a maximum of two months after receiving the demand, as envisaged in the bill.

The bill rules that President would take necessary actions in case the violations and inaction persisted and refer it to the competent administrative and judicial authorities.

The violator(s) would be initially sentenced to one- to three- year jail terms but in case of repetition they would be permanently dismissed from government service.

Majlis is to decide on the remaining two points of the bill in its next session after the New Year recess.

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.

President Khatami has rejected 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 - 3/17/03 ... --

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