MPs respond to president’s remarks on role of Majlis

September 20, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- A number of lawmakers have criticized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent claim that the executive branch of government is more important than the legislature.

They asserted that among the three branches of government, the Majlis is still on top of affairs.
In an interview with the daily Iran published on Saturday, the president said certain people cite the late Imam Khomeini’s statement on the importance of the Majlis, but at that time the president was not entirely in charge of the country and the prime minister, who had to be approved by the Majlis, was mostly responsible for running the country.
Ahmadinejad also noted that the executive is the most important branch of government.
‘Majlis still on top of affairs’
MP Ali Motahhari, a member of the Majlis majority faction, said that among the three branches of government, the parliament is still on top of affairs and has the authority to impeach the president and remove him from office.
He made the remarks in an interview with the Mehr News Agency published on Sunday.
Motahhari cited velayat-e faqih (rule of the supreme jurisprudent) and the Majlis as two impediments to dictatorship, adding that a body like the parliament is needed to prevent the government from moving toward autocracy.
It is possible that the president was referring to the current parliament since it has not properly fulfilled its supervisory responsibility over the executive branch, he stated.
If he meant this, “possibly it is true, and I may agree with him,” Motahhari said.
The MP added that it is not right to say in general that the legislative branch is not on top of affairs among the three branches of government.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Motahhari noted that the parliament must not remain silent about the administration’s disregard for the law.
Such silence is a betrayal of the nation, and questioning the president has nothing to do with undermining national unity, he added.
Without giving more details, Motahhari also announced that a number of lawmakers are attempting to fulfill their supervisory role over the administration through legal channels.
A number of other MPs have also commented on this issue and their remarks were published on Sunday in an article in the daily Tehran-e-Emrooz.
‘Imam Khomeini’s statements not limited to a certain time’
MP Mohammad-Taqi Rahbar, the leader of the clerics’ faction of the Majlis, noted that Imam Khomeini’s statements are not limited to a certain time and must be respected and put into practice at all times.
Even the Supreme Leader has repeatedly emphasized the legislative body’s decisive role in running the country, he stated, adding that the administration’s legitimacy must be approved by the Majlis.
‘System has not changed’
MP Hamid-Reza Fouladgar noted that unless the system and the Constitution are revised, the Imam’s statements must be abided by.
However, the situation has not changed, and the parliament approves all cabinet ministers, who form the most important part of the administration, he added.
In addition, the Majlis has the authority to remove the president as well as to impeach and remove ministers, the MP stated.
‘Ahmadinejad was expressing his personal opinion’
MP Esmaeil Kosari, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said the president’s remarks were his personal opinion.
If any change is to be made to Imam Khomeini’s pronouncement, it must be done by the Supreme Leader, Kosari stated.
‘Majlis has supervisory role over administration’
MP Sattar Hedayatkhah said that in regard to implementing the law, the administration is on top of affairs, but the legislative branch has a supervisory role over the executive branch.
‘Going beyond mandate not in best interests of the nation’
MP Javad Aryan-Manesh said that if there are efforts to monopolize power and go beyond the mandate, it will only create a rift between the three branches of government and will not be in the best interests of the nation.
He also expressed astonishment that the president made such remarks, even though the Leader recently emphasized the need to maintain national unity.
‘Ahmadinejad remarks are nothing new’
MP Ali Abbaspour Tehrani maintains that Ahmadinejad’s remarks were nothing new because he had shown his disagreement with the Majlis by not implementing parliamentary ratifications.
Undermining clerics and undermining the Majlis were the government’s mistakes at the time of Mohammad Mosaddeq, and the administration is making the same mistakes, he said.
‘President not fully informed about the law’
MP Daryoush Qanbari said that the fact that such issues are raised is probably an indication that the president is not fully informed about the law.
According to the law, the Majlis has a supervisory role over the executive branch, Qanbari stated