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Iranian MP: Resignation of MPs a protest against dangerous trend

Tehran, March 15, IRNA -- An MP from Tehran, Mohsen Armin, said here Sunday that the resignation of MPs in parlament is a protest move against a dangerous trend which, if allowed to continue, would destroy the fundamentals of the Islamic Republic system.

photos: Syma Sayyah

Armin, whose resignation was accepted yesterday, is one of three MPS who tendered resigntions which have been accepted by the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis).

Armin's resignation was accepted by a vote of 103 in favor and 49 against with 7 abstentions from a total of 194 votes cast. Other resignations accepted by the Majlis are those of Tehran MP Fatemeh Haqiqatjou and Orumiyeh MP Mir Mahmoud Yeganli.

Resigning, in the current situation, is an act showing unity with the struggle to defend the rights of the Iranian nation, Armin said in his address to an open session of Majlis held before the acceptance of his resignation. He said the trend will continue for as long as no positive results are achieved.

Criticizing the process that governed the 7th Majlis election, he said it was a far cry from the February 20 Majlis election, the presidential election in 1376 and the 6th Majlis election in 1378 which raised the prestige of the Islamic Republic and united the people behind the system.

The victory of a minority group which obtained 15 percent of the total votes cast and their election into one of the highest symbols of democracy, the parliament, can hardly be considered an honor for themselves as well as for the system, he added.

Over 50 percent of eligible votere took part in the February 20 Majlis election.

"It is said that if we (reformers) had participated in the 7th Majlis election we would have failed. My response is that if that were so, why were reformist MPs disqualified from contesting the elections for silly and baseless reasons?"

Armin was among the over 2,000 nominees whose qualifications were screened and were barred from taking part in the February parliamentary election.

The rejection of candidates from running in the 7th Majlis election was tantamount to a denial of their legal rights and a rejection of the nation's right to decide its own fate, Armin said.

"I, as a representative of the people in Majlis, have sworn to defend their rights. In the current situation, I can neither fulfill this commitment or remain silent. The only thing that I can do is to cry out in protest at the violation of people's rights by submitting my resignation to Majlis," Armin further said.

The sixth Majlis, with all its prestige and achievements, has served the Islamic Republic system by availing of the best opportunities to implement reforms at the least expense, but, unfortunately, it has been accused of wrongdoing and treated unkindly, he said.

Quoting statistics on the billions of dollars worth of goods smuggled into the country via illegal and unofficial channels, Armin said it seems that the presence of reform-seeking MPs in the august chamber is a pain in the neck for those opposing freedom and others in the mafia of power and wealth, he added.

One hundred eight MPs tendered their resignations to Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi on February 1 in protest at the mass disqualification of candidates wanting to stand in the 7th Majlis election.

As per Article 92 of the Majlis by-laws, any Majlis deputy can resign from his/her post, but the resignation becomes effective only after acceptance by Majlis.

However, Article 95 of the same by-laws provides that if the offer to resign of any MP results in the Majlis failing to reach a quorum, the offer cannot be passed upon by Majlis.

... Payvand News - 3/15/04 ... --

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