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Iran's parliament to form committee to follow up EC approval

Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi here on Monday called on Majlis deputies to establish a five-member committee to follow up the recent ratification by the Expediency Council to increase the budget of the Guardians Council, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Karroubi said that he has elected Chairman of the Majlis Planning and Budget Commission Majid Ansari and Head of parliamentary group of the Second of Khordad Front Ali-Akbar Mohtashamipour as two members of the committee.

Speaking at an open session of Majlis, he suggested that the deputies elect the other three members of the committee, stressing that one of them should be a female MP.

The Majlis speaker recommended that the committee hold talks with Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and if necessary, it consult with the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei to solve the current disputes over the GC budget rise.

The government had increased GC's budget for the next Iranian calendar year of 1382 (starting March 21) to 44 billion rials, which was accordingly endorsed by the Majlis.

However, the Guardians Council in its debates over the budget bill said 44 billion rials was not enough for the council, and returned the bill to the Majlis calling for an increase in the budget to 160 billion rials.

The GC's request was not approved by the Majlis. Therefore, the GC and the Majlis took their dispute to the Expediency Council (EC) for final arbitration.

The EC in its Saturday meeting agreed to raise the GC's budget to over 100 billion rials. This accordingly drew the sharp criticism of the deputies who maintained that the council had bypassed the legislative body by approving the budget rise.

Majlis open session starts with one-hour delay

An open session of Majlis started its work at 9:30 am local time (6:00 GMT) on Monday with one hour of delay.

The reason for the delay was that the number of the deputies did not reach the quorum. The Majlis reaches quorum with the presence of 194 deputies.

Majlis Vice-Speaker Mohammad Reza Khatami told IRNA that members of the Second Khordad Faction had decided to submit their resignations to the Majlis presiding board as soon as the session started, but the minority faction made an obstruction so that the session could not reach its quorum.

Khatami added that although some members of the minority faction were present at the Majlis building, they did not attend the session this morning.

Meanwhile, Behzad Nabavi, the Majlis First Vice-Speaker, said that a number of the Second Khordad Faction also were not present at the session.

Jalil Sazgarnejad, a deputy from Shiraz, said that members of the Second Khordad Faction had prepared a letter in which they had resigned from their post. The letter was supposed to be read out at the Majlis session this morning, he added.

The minority faction tried not to let the letter be read out at the session by not attending thus preventing the meeting from reaching its required numbers, he reiterated.

Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, at the beginning of the open session of Majlis, called on a member of the presiding board to announce names of the deputies who were absent for unjustified reasons and urged the mass media to publish the names of those deputies.

He said that names of members of the two factions are seen in the list of absentees.

... Payvand News - 3/17/03 ... --

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