AFP: Iran’s hardline vetting body again rejected a bill that would have seen legislative and presidential elections held on the same day and trimmed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s term, local media reported on Thursday. TEHRAN, May 10, 2007 (AFP) – Iran’s hardline vetting body again rejected a bill that would have seen legislative and presidential elections held on the same day and trimmed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s term, local media reported on Thursday.
“Parliament’s bill was contrary to the Islamic republic’s constitution articles number 63 and 114,” said a statement from the Guardians Council.
Parliamentary and presidential elections are due to be held in 2008 and 2009 respectively and the Iranian parliament wants to bring them together in a bid to cut down on administrative costs.
After a previous attempt by parliament was rejected by the Guardians Council, MPs approved a bill proposing a seven-month addition to their mandate and reducing the president’s tenure by four months.
But such tampering with the four-year terms set out in the constitution by president and parliament has evidently proved too much for the Guardians Council.
Ahmadinejad’s term ends in mid-2009, while the current parliament’s mandate ends at the beginning of 2008.
The Guardians Council is an unelected watchdog body that vets all legislation to ensure it complies with the constitution and Islamic law.
Now the bill has again been rejected, parliament can still decide to send it to the Expediency Council, which has the final say in matters such as resolving disputes between parliament and the Guardians Council.
Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani heads the Expediency Council.