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Iranian MPs call on Guardian Council to hold live TV debate

Members of parliament protesting the wholesale disqualification said on Sunday that they are ready to hold a live debate with members of the Guardian Council on the national television to disclose the identity of those behind the scenario, IRNA reported from Tehran.

photo: ISNA

Reading out the eleventh statement of the MPs on sit-in protest, Davood Soleymani said that the IRIB which is being funded from the national coffer should arrange a live debate between the MPs and the members of the Guardian Council.

"We want to reveal to the people that the conservatives have attempted to strip the Islamic Republic of the republican aspect," he said.

"The national television which has enforced a blackout on news about the protest of the MPs has violated the law. They have in fact boycotted several million people who have elected their representatives to the parliament.

"If directors of the national television are candid. If they respect transparency, why don't they arrange interview with the MPs and a subsequent debate between the MPs and members of Guardian Council?

"The people should know that the dignitaries have the desire to put an end to the republican aspect of the Islamic Republic," he said.

"We are on the 15th day of sit-in protest following disqualification bid and we are defending the constitutional rights of the people by this action until satisfactory results are achieved," he said.

"With the current scenario, they attempted to misappropriate 180 seats to the conservatives and left 105 seats for electoral campaign. They have drawn up composition of the next Majlis from now," he said.

The MPs thanked the public for supporting their representatives in the protest which in fact is taking place to advocate the voters rights.

The people elected the MPs in the year 2000. The conservatives suffered a humiliating defeat in parliamentary election in 2000 and have attempted to humiliate the people who did not give votes to them by disqualifying their representatives.

"The president, Majlis speaker, 12 cabinet ministers, 85 deputy ministers, 27 governors general and 30 chancellors of universities and Majma Rouhanioun Mobarez (MRM) have voiced support for the incumbent MPs and several hundred statements have been issued in their support indicating that the sit-in protest is legitimate," it said.

"This movement is unique in the 100-year history of parliament in Iran. This sit-in protest to defend the republican aspect of the Islamic Republic and the constitutional rights of the people," Soleymani said.

150 MPs support president, Majlis speaker protest to Guardian Council

Tehran, Jan 25, IRNA -- Some 150 members of parliament on Sunday supported President Mohammad Khatami and Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi in their objection to the Guardian Council's 'delaying tactics' in responding to the complaints of the incumbent MPs.

photo: ISNA

The MPs, in a statement read out by Member of the Presiding Board of the Majlis Mohammad Naimipour, said that joint statement of the president and the Majlis speaker proved that the process being employed by the Supervisory Board and the Guardian Council needs to be overhauled because it is unjust and illegal.

The heads of two branches of government have reiterated that with the current scenario, the Guardian Council have excluded 190 seats for a certain political party, it said.

"Declaring the qualification through bias which has given upper hand to a certain political party (conservatives) is not appropriate for the Islamic Republic and it is against the aspirations of the late Imam Khomeini about the significance of people's votes and Majlis," the statement said.

"In fact, the heads of the two branches of the government are alarmed that the rights and votes of the people are being ignored," it said.

The MPs condemned the national television which gets budget from the public coffer for its blackout of the news about the sit-in protest of the reformists MPs in the parliament house against illegal action of the Guardian Council.

They regretted that the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) did not broadcast the joint statement of the president and the Majlis speaker and said it indicated that the conservatives in the national television have fabricated a new definition for national interest and national security.

"It is unacceptable that certain extremist elements behind the scene have made tools of the government organs for their illegal ambitions causing loss to national sovereignty of the people and the aspirations of the Islamic Republic," it said.

"We hope that the president and the Majlis speaker would do their best to force the Guardian Council to respect the law and declare their illegal bid as null and void to help bring about a free and fair election," the statement by 150 MPs said.

... Payvand News - 1/25/04 ... --

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