May 29, 2019

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Iran's Reformists push for constitutional amendments (Rohollah Faghihi, May 28, 2019, Al Monitor)

Reports have emerged in Iran that mainly Reformist parliamentarians are attempting to revise the country's constitution. Senior pro-reform parliament member Mostafa Kavakebian said May 8, "We are preparing a bill under the name of the 'Third Republic.'"

Moderate conservative Ezzatollah Yousefian Molla said May 27 that if more than 200 lawmakers support the initiative, the letter will be sent to the supreme leader. [...]

Reading between the lines, it seems that reformist parliamentarians are critical of the Guardian Council's authority over elections, including its power to reject candidates, the Expediency Council overreaching in the legislation process as well as the lack of government and parliamentary control over the state broadcaster. Moreover, they likely want to compel a number of state bodies, including the Guardian Council and the judiciary, to be legally accountable to the parliament and the public. Increasing the power of the executive branch and the president may also be among the proposed demands. Meanwhile, in remarks that may have been directed at the Reformist parliamentarians' new efforts, President Hassan Rouhani complained May 12 about a lack of executive power.

The lawmakers' letter to the supreme leader will be finalized within the next 30 days, and all eyes will be on the reaction of conservatives, who would like to see the removal of the presidency and the return of a prime minister who answers only to the parliament and the supreme leader.

Meanwhile, according to moderate conservative parliamentarian Yousefian Molla, the revival of the prime minister answering only to the parliament is among the conservatives' demands. Hard-liners and conservatives have long yearned to remove the position of president from the constitution, a change that would consequently lessen the role and power of the popular vote. On May 22, Khamenei stated his opposition to the return of the Prime Ministry but said some modifications would be acceptable.



Posted by at May 29, 2019 12:02 AM

  

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