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Iranian MPs say they defend republican aspect of Islamic Republic

Members of Parliament protesting the Guardian Council's methodology in disqualifying the incumbent MPs said on Sunday that certain elements behind the scenario have attempted to strip the Islamic Republic of its republican aspect, IRNA reported from Tehran.

photo: ISNA

Deputy head of the Majlis Commission on National Security and Foreign Affairs Mohsen Armin read out the twelfth statement of the sit-in MPs challenging the obstacle the Guardian Council created in determining the religious commitment of applicants.

They reiterated their belief that constitutionally it is not up to the Guardian Council to gauge religious commitment of the applicants and maintained that the conservatives who suffered a humiliating defeat in the year 2000 election have launched a campaign against the reform camp to humiliate the incumbent MPs.

"It is a dictatorial mentality to humiliate the others by disqualifying people's representatives to see whether they have religious commitment," the statement said broadcast on FM radio.

"Don't play with public conscience. Don't pretend yourself as advocates of people. Disclose your despotic desire to manipulate people's votes," part of the statement said.

"Democracy cannot be harnessed by adding the adjective 'religious' to it. It has only one meaning. When you respect democracy, you should take it for granted that it will comply with the religious values of the community. You cannot sacrifice democracy under pretext that we want religious democracy," the statement said.

photo: ISNA

The statement said that the Guardian Council has violated the national sovereignty right of people by ignoring their rights to elect their own representatives.

The MPs believe that the ominous desire of the conservatives can only be materialized by a military coup, the statement said. "The illegal action of the Supervisory Board has driven the country to a crisis. And as usual the conservatives are behind such crises," it said.

"We are protesting an ominous process which aims to violate the constitutional rights of people. The people have the right to determine their own destiny and don't need others to discredit their representatives," the statement read.

Following the Guardian Council's wholesale disqualification bid, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei urged them to review their decision.

Secretary of the Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati admitted on Friday they have made mistake in the disqualification bid. But, the incumbent MPs say that it is a pre-meditated ploy to help the conservative friends to take lead in the election campaign.

The reformists say that the Guardian Council is killing the time and treat them in an arrogant manner which runs counter to the spirit of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic.

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

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