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Protesting Iranian MPs end sit-in on mass disqualification of hopefuls

Over 80 Iranian MPs ended a sit-in protest on mass disqualification of nominees for the 7th Majlis elections at Majlis building on Thursday evening by issuing their final statement, IRNA reported from Tehran.

In their 18th and final statement, read by Tehran MP Davoud Soleymani, the protesting MPs stressed they would continue contact with the people to discuss the upcoming elections, slated for February 20, and to express their points of view.

The Guardian Council (GC) had earlier disqualified some 2,600 nominees from among more than 8,000 of those who had registered for the elections.

At the legal deadline, the supervisory body announced that it has approved the qualifications of totally 5,450 hopefuls.

More than 80 incumbent Majlis deputies have been staging a sit-in inside the Majlis building in protest to the Guardian Council's decision, threatening to resign and abstain from casting votes for the 7th parliament elections if no positive development is observed in the long list of disqualified hopefuls.

According to the GC, in order to win a seat at the 290-member Majlis, some 19 hopefuls have to compete on the average.

The Protesting MPs in their final statement also felicitated the 25th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and stressed the importance of vigilantly safeguarding the achievements of the 1979 Revolution.

More disqualified hopefuls reinstated on order of Supreme Leader: GC secretary

Secretary of the Guardian Council (GC) Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati on Friday confirmed that a number of other disqualified hopefuls for the upcoming Majlis elections have been reinstated by the GC on the basis of expediency and order of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

Jannati made the remarks as he addressed a mass gathering of supervisors of the upcoming elections in Tehran.

Vetting of the nominees ended Thursday evening with all its ups and downs, he said, adding a number of disqualified hopefuls were reinstated due to some reasons that the Supreme Leader considered as expedient and by his order.

The GC secretary, however, added this issue will not have a considerable impact on the Majlis elections.

The Guardian Council okayed the qualifications of a number of other disqualified hopefuls on the order of Ayatollah Khamenei and announced the new list to the Supreme Leader's Office last night and will also inform the Interior Ministry today (Friday), he added.

Jannati noted that there were pressures on the GC to minimize the number of disqualifications and also to show that the GC's thorough probe was unsuccessful. He added: "We did our best to observe the Constitution and the Supreme Leader's guidelines."

... Payvand News - 2/6/04 ... --

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