01/27/2004, 00.00
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Parliament – Guardians Council: compromise in sight

by Pierre Balanian
An Interview with Ali Salami, editor in chief of the Tehran Times

Tehran (AsiaNews) -During today's session Majlis (Parliament) deputies suspended the passing of amendments to the county's system of electoral laws. Yesterday the Guardians Council vetoed the emergency measure, saying that it went "against Islam and the constitution".

The amendments sought to overturn the obstacle laid down by the Council, the reason why more than 3600 candidates were "disqualified" by the Council and will not be able to run in the upcoming Feb. 20 elections.

The move made by members of the Majlis is a statement of principle: since the Council's "disqualification" and exclusion of candidates is technically illegal, it is useless to reform the law. It is sufficient not take the Council's decision into consideration.  

In reality –according to an interview AsiaNews had with the chief editor of the Tehran Times, Ali Salami – it seems that an agreement is near between government leaders to overcome the crisis without further embattlement. Just today president Khatami assured that elections will be "honest, free and competitive."

Below we report Ali Salami's entire interview with AsiaNews:

 

What will the conflict between the Guardians Council and Majlis lead to? Isn't there any danger of a total rift in relations between the two?

It is very likely that a compromise will be struck over the next few days. The fact that, after a review, already a certain number of candidates, who were earlier disqualified, can now run in the elections is an indication of the direction in which a solution is being reached.   

The roots of the crisis are complex. It can't be simply defined as a fight between conservatives and reformists. At any rate, as we near a compromise, I don't think there will be further problems.

Is there any risk that Iran's economy will crash?

Some say that each internal crisis of our country can damage its oil exports and influence its prices. Certainly, if the crisis is not resolved, there will be economic repercussions. But like I said, it is very likely that good sense will win out in the end and that the crisis will be overcome. When there is such tension, it is our chief leader's responsibility to resolve it.  

How do the Iranian people view the crisis?

People want those in charge to resolve it as soon as possible. This is the general attitude. (P.B.)

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Guardians Council votes down electoral reform law
26/01/2004
Electoral defeat announced for reformists
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20/02/2004
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