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Iran: MP urges Guardian Council to restore hopefuls' rights

TEHRAN, Feb. 09 (Mehr News Agency) - In a letter to the Guardian Council, MP Ahmad Tavakkoli has urged the vetting body to make further efforts in studying the petitions of the candidates banned from contesting the elections.

He said this time the "quality and quantity" of disqualifications has sparked "concern" among the revolution's loyalists.

Some vetting officials' lack of experience, registration of candidates through internet without necessary preparations and some officials' narrow mindset have tarnished many hopefuls' reputation, Tavakkoli complained.

He also expressed dissatisfaction over the reports that some sitting MPs have been barred from elections because of their legal criticism of the incumbent government's policies.

A possible low turnout in the upcoming vote will be one of the negative consequences of such a situation, he pointed out.

He also called on the council to restore the rights of candidates.

Competence of some rejected MPs may be endorsed

20 sitting MPs have been barred from running for the parliamentary elections, Guardian Council spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaii said on Saturday.

"We are reviewing their documents and it is likely that some changes occur in the number of rejected sitting MPs," he told reporters at his weekly press conference.

Confirming that the excluded MPs have been in contact with the Guardian Council, he asserted that if the ongoing consultations are aimed at bypassing the law, they will be ineffective.

Up to now 160 hopefuls have withdrawn their candidacy, but the number is constantly changing, he said.

The spokesman said the Guardian Council is making serious efforts to fully observe the rights of candidates and people during the vetting process.

However, he said, "We won't allow the incompetent candidates to enter the parliament."

Asked why those who have been qualified to run for the Assembly of Experts by-election have been barred from contesting the parliamentary seats, Kadkhodaii replied the GC decides upon candidates' qualification based on enquiries from four sources and it is possible that the GC had received new information against certain hopefuls.

"Guardian Council has until February 22 to study the rejected candidates' petitions and we hope that the council would give good news to people and candidates," the official noted.

Failing to send the required academic credentials is a reason behind some disqualifications, he added.

Ali Eshraghi, the grandson of the Imam Khomeini, has been excluded because of the same reason, he explained.

Larijani will stand for the Qom constituency

Former security chief and nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani will contest elections from Qom, MP Ali Banaie told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

Banaie, who represents Qom, said the city's ulema have appreciated Larijani for accepting their request.

Country does not belong to a specific party

The country does not belong to a specific political party, a senior member of the Solidarity Party, Reza Rahchamani, told Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

Victory of the Islamic Revolution was the result of the efforts made by the whole Iranian nation, so withdrawal of any political party from the election can boomerang, Rahchamani said.

Boycotting the election will not solve any problem nor change the current situation, the reformist politician asserted.

MP urges massive turnout

Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Chairman Alaedin Borujerdi said here on Saturday that a massive turnout in Majlis elections would demonstrate the nation's support for the revolution.

Elections would show the political will of the nation against world powers, Borujerdi told IRNA.

"Participation of the nation in the Majlis elections will demonstrate that Iranians are sensitive to their fate," he added.

Pointing to the parliament's role in making vital decisions, the MP stated that a big turnout in the March 14 elections would have a positive impact on country's future.

... Payvand News - 02/11/08 ... --

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