Guardian council: Reviewing, amending constitution possible if Article 59 fails to solve problems 

December 16, 2019 - 19:15

TEHRAN - The spokesman for the Guardian Council said on Sunday that reviewing and amending the constitution is possible provided that the constitution itself, including its Article 59, could not help the country get rid of a probable problem.

Article 59 states: In considering vital economic, political, social, and cultural issues, it is possible that the legislative power be exercised through referendum or reference to direct public vote. The request to appeal to public votes must be approved by two-thirds of the entire representatives of the Assembly.
 
Addressing a meeting on constitution review on Sunday night, Abbas Ali Kadkhoda’ei said, “The review (of constitution) is not an impossible issue but at first we must utilize the entire capacities of the constitution, including the Article 59, and if the mentioned article could not solve the problem we would resort to amending the constitution.” 

“Sometimes, some of the words are used in a way which shows a deadlock. Sometime, we feel fear from the mentioned words,” he said, adding, “We must not consider evolution and improvement as impossible principles.” 

“Some say that the constitution’s articles lack the capability of being changed, and it is an agreeable issue. In fact, we agree, based on the current constitution, to say some of the articles lack capability of change. In my idea even such articles can go under review if the society is in need of such change,” Kadkhoda’ei added. 

“In France, it is said that the republicanism can’t be changed according to the principle the people once agreed on and are now obeying that agreement. We, in Iran, had some religious principles that are stipulated in the constitution which are mentioned as unchangeable principles. Of course, it is possible to change them in other time. Now, within the framework of the constitution, the mentioned principles are unchangeable,” Kadkhoda’ei explained. 

In May the ILNA news agency quoted President Hassan Rouhani as saying that a referendum on the country’s nuclear program “could offer a breakthrough”. 

The Iranian president in a meeting with media managers in Tehran was answering a question when he said that Article 59 could “unblock” difficult situations. He added, “The question of when we should utilize this Article or when in the past we should have used it, is a different matter”.

MJ/PA

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