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Guardian Council rejects 2nd proposed date for Iran's presidential election

Tehran, Nov 27, IRNA -- Guardian Council's Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham rejected the Interior Ministry's proposed date (May 20, 2005) for the upcoming presidential elections.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Saturday, he noted that the Guardian Council's objection to elections date reflected the requirement for compliance with the relevant laws.

"According to note 3 of the electoral law, the process of elections should be launched three months prior to the conclusion of the presidential term.

"Given that President Mohammad Khatami's term in office will end on August 2, 2005, the process of presidential elections should start on May 2. But the proposed date does not abide by the rule," he added.

Elham said that according to the electoral laws, the Interior Ministry is required to prepare the grounds for the next elections three months before the end of current presidential term.

"The process should actually start three months prior to the end of the president's term in office and stop one month prior to the end of the term," he added.

Concerning mechanized vote-counting in the upcoming elections, he said that any measure facilitating the process, attracting the public confidence and ensuring a healthy election will be acceptable.

Turning to note 9 of the electoral law, he said that in case mechanical vote-counting is required, the software and hardware of systems should be designed in such a way that they will be operated in the presence of GC members.

"Based on note 9 of the electoral law, the decisions on protection of the relevant software and hardware should be taken jointly by the Guardian Council and Foreign Ministry," he added.

He noted that the Interior Ministry should design its own software and hardware.

"The counting machine proposed by the Interior Ministry is the same used in the sixth term of presidential elections, which is outdated and not efficient. But there is enough time to propose using another more favorable vote-counting machine," concluded Elham.

... Payvand News - 11/27/04 ... --

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