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Iran's Parliament suspends reforming electoral law

Iranian Parliament deputies suspended the three-star bill on amending the electoral law on Tuesday, IRNA reported from Tehran.

During the open session of Majlis this morning, the MPs suspended the bill for an indefinite period of time.

The Guardians Council vetoed the emergency amendment to the electoral law, hours after the Majlis approved it on Sunday, saying it contained points contrary to Islam and the Constitution.

The council's public relations office on Monday confirmed the rejection, saying it found the bill 'contravening the Sharia law and the Constitution over some cases'.

The amendment included addition of two clauses to the electoral law as countermeasure to the supervisory Guardians Council's rejection of many parliamentary aspirants on the ground that they lacked faith in Islam and the Islamic establishment.

One clause envisaged that a candidate, whose record is in question, can run in the contests if his or her qualification is endorsed by at least 10 local confidants, including city and village councilors as well as Friday prayer leaders.

The other clause stated that any candidate whose qualification has been approved once cannot be barred unless there is a criminal evidence against him or her.

Over 3,600 candidates from among more than 8,000 of those registered for the February 20 elections have been declared as disqualified by the supervisory electoral boards. The first and second Majlis deputies Mohammad Reza Khatami and Behzad Nabavi are among the disqualified.

Meanwhile, Mohsen Mirdamadi, an MP from Tehran and head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said, "We have repeatedly said that we do not consider disqualification of candidates as according to the law and therefore there is no need to reform the law. The disqualification process is illegal, factional and based on personal tastes."

We are familiar with the fault-finding nature of the Guardians Council, he said, adding that reforming the bill will not solve any problem.

"Sending it to the Expediency Council would not solve any problem either, so therefore abandoning it is the best choice," Mirdamadi said.

... Payvand News - 1/27/04 ... --

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