Rouhani defends disqualified Iranian female MP
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 28
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says that only parliament can make a decision on qualification of the elected MPs.
According to the Iranian constitution once a person is elected as MP, his/her accreditation should be investigated by the parliament, said Rouhani, adding that no other entity has the right to intervene in the issue, IRNA news agency reported Apr. 28.
The Iranian president's statement comes amid disputes over the Guardian Council's barring a newly elected female MP from entering the next parliament.
Minou Khaleghi, a reformist politician who was elected in February as a new member of the parliament from Isfahan city, was disqualified by the Guardian Council after the election.
However, before the election, she was qualified to run, meaning that the powerful Council, which vets all the candidates, approved her candidacy.
But the conservative entity later changed its decision nullifying the votes cast for her, even though the election officials endorsed the results in Isfahan and found no major discrepancies in the counting process.
The Guardian Council didn't give a reason for ruling Khaleghi out, but there are rumors that she was disqualified because of an alleged photo of her without wearing hijab (Islamic veil), or shaking hands with a stranger man, which would be illegal under Iran's Islamic laws.
Meanwhile, the Guardian Council's decision has raised serious criticism among Iranian politicians.
Iranian conservative MP Ali Motahari has asked for impeachment of the interior minister, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, for not defending the "rights of the nation and yielding to an illegal practice."
Motahari also said it was up to the parliament, not the Guardian Council, to endorse a member once they are elected.