Iran could scrap directly elected president: Ayatollah Khamenei

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by nrj, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    (Reuters) - Iran could do away with the post of a directly elected president, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday, in what might be a warning to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and possible successors not to overstep the executive's limited powers.


    Khamenei's comment came with Ahmadinejad battling constant criticism from hardline conservatives accusing him of being in the thrall of "deviant" advisers who want to undermine the role of the Islamic clergy, including the office of supreme leader.


    Khamenei dropped the suggestion -- of what would be the biggest change in Iran's constitution for two decades -- into a wide-ranging speech, saying there was "no problem" in eliminating the directly elected presidency if deemed desirable.


    "Presently, the country's ruling political system is a presidential one in which the president is directly elected by the people, making this a good and effective method," he told an audience of academics in the western province of Kermanshah.


    "However, if one day, probably in the distant future, it is deemed that the parliamentary system is more appropriate for the election of officials (holding) executive power, there would be no problem in altering the current structure," Khamenei said in the speech broadcast by state television.


    While Ahmadinejad enjoyed Khamenei's full support when elected to a second four-year term in June 2009, analysts said a rift between the country's two highest officials emerged last April when the president's attempt to sack his intelligence minister was vetoed by the supreme leader.


    Members of the conservative-dominated parliament have since threatened to impeach Ahmadinejad and the judiciary has pursued some of his allies over corruption allegations -- denting his standing in the run-up to parliamentary elections in March.


    Khamenei's comments could be seen as a reassertion of his own paramount status in Iranian affairs over the presidency.


    The position of president has a high international profile, but his powers are limited by other branches of state and particularly by the supreme leader who has the last say on key matters including the military and Iran's nuclear program.


    While the supreme leader should not normally interfere in day-to-day political matters, Khamenei said, he had the responsibility to step in "under circumstances in which the adoption of a policy would lead to the diversion of the revolution's path."


    Eliminating direct elections and having parliament choose the president would make the head of government more responsive to the legislature and might limit his scope to exert authority in sensitive areas such as foreign policy.


    The last election brought vast crowds to Iran's streets to protest at what they said was a rigged election after Ahmadinejad beat reformist candidate Mirhossein Mousavi.


    The government denied the vote rigging charge and said the protests were stirred up by Iran's foreign enemies.
    Mousavi has been under unofficial house arrest since February and reformists have yet to say whether they will participate in the March elections, which will set the scene for the 2013 presidential race.

    Iran could scrap directly elected president
     
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  3. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Why should fallable humans elect Iran's President? It should be God through the Supreme Leader (medium) who should appoint Iran's leader! America cannot win over a divine chosen leader!
     
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  4. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Iran debates shift to parliamentary system

    TEHRAN - Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's hint last week that the "presidential system" might give way to a parliamentary system has sparked an intensive debate about the merits of such a shift. Though couched in the language of a future possibility, the statement provides new ammunition in the country's factional politics.

    "In the future, the parliamentary system can be possibly revived," Khamenei said at a lecture during his week-long trip to the province of Kermanshah, where he scolded the government officials for not doing enough to tackle rising unemployment in the province.

    Replacement of the presidential system with a more European-style parliamentary system would mean scrapping the office of president and a resurrection of the role of prime minister in a revised system based on parliamentary consensus. Defenders of the proposal point to often tense relations between the Majlis (parliament) and the executive branch headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and say the change would bring about closer parliamentary scrutiny of the government.

    Ali Larijani, the powerful speaker of the Majlis, and other Majlis deputies have embraced the idea, with Larijani claiming that this would result in a more smooth and efficient form of government. Former president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, who heads the Expediency Council, has opposed this idea, as well as the related notion that the council, which serves as a quasi-parliamentary group, should also be scrapped. Defending the role and legitimacy of the Expediency Council, Rafsanjani this week vigorously defended the "republican" nature of the system, and in so many words expressed his opposition at any attempt to weaken it.

    The idea of replacing the present system with a parliamentary system "has been under study in Majlis for sometime," according to Hamid Reza Katouzian, a Tehran MP.

    The end of the presidential system may prove to a boon for party politics by encouraging the development of coalitions - a feature of political life that is dreadfully weak if not absent in Iran today.

    A number of Tehran pundits, such as the reformist and vocal Tehran University political science professor Sadegh Ziba Kalam, have fully endorsed the leader's suggestion and penned in its favor, with Ziba Kalam putting the emphasis on government accountability.

    Public support for a more robust parliamentary role in the governmental affairs is growing in light of the recent impeachment of the finance minister in a scandal which has also put some key bank executives, including the head of the central bank, in the firing line. In the immediate future that may well culminate in a constitutional revision.

    There is no particular rush to reach a final resolution on this matter. Hassan Ghafoorifard, another Tehran deputy, told the media that "the leader's point in raising this issue has been to generate discussion and debate on this and I am certain it will not materialize for another 10 years".

    Meanwhile, Khamenei's suggestion has been vastly misinterpreted outside Iran, with a number of commentators seizing on the issue as yet another expression of conflict and hostility from the supreme leader toward Ahmadinejad. This is clearly not the case. The leader's passing remark clearly shows that he was speaking of a long-term prospect, ie nothing that would stop Ahmadinejad from staying in office for the one-and-a-half years that remains of his term.

    In a clue to the systematic efforts to patch up differences between and inside the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government, Mahdavi Kani, the current chairman of the Assembly of Experts, was appointed to mediate, and there are on-going "unity meetings" between the heads and key members of the three branches. As an overture to the president, Larijani and his supporters in the Majlis have backed the resignation of a fierce critic of Ahmadinejad, Ali Mottahari, who in the opinion of many experts "went too far in attacking the president and his chief of staff Rahim Mashaee".

    On the whole, the mood in today's Majlis is toward reconciliation and working relations with the president rather than constantly challenging him. This is partly due to the plethora of foreign policy challenges confronting the regime, given the recent US allegations of Iran terror plot in Washington; allegations which the Tehran leaders have adamantly denied.

    Regarding the claims that Tehran was involved in a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US, since Iran is a signatory to the international conventions dictating cooperation in the investigation of such matters, Iran is likely to tag this to its previous complaints of US complicity in both the assassination of its nuclear scientists as well as US support for the terrorist group Jundallah, whose leader Abdulmalek Riggi, was apprehended last spring en route to a US base in Central Asia.

    Tehran may be able to turn tables on the US and prove a case to the international community that it is "victim of Western-sponsored terrorism". A number of Tehran foreign policy experts have told the author that in their opinion Iran is willing to engage in earnest dialogue on Afghanistan, in light of the upcoming Afghan summit in Bonn in December. The big question is whether such needed dialogue becomes a collateral casualty in the US-Iran cold war now raging in full force

    Asia Times Online :: Middle East News, Iraq, Iran current affairs
     
  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    :lol:

    If they believe that, they should remember Japan.:)
     
  6. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Divine leader is only there because yank interference.

    Don't forget who fucked over the democratically elected govt in the 50's.
     
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  7. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Iran could've been a better place only if Eisenhower would have listened to outgoing Truman administration.
     
  8. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    And that moron Zbigniew Brzezinski, adviser to Carter, was the biggest reason that Iran fell to the Ayatollah and moved away from the Americans. Read the book "On Wings of Eagles" by Ken Follet. True story about Ross Perot's private rescue of EDS employees trapped in Iran. As an aside, it will tell you a lot about the fatal flaws of American policy, and of Brzezinski.
     
  9. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Not very different from India then. Just replace the words "President" with MMS and "Supreme Leader" with Sonia Gandhi. :rolleyes:

    They already have an India-type parliamentary system, no need to make any formal switch. :laugh:
     
  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    And Indo-US relationship would be been much better had the then US President Nixon listened to the US Congress in 1971-72. Nixon was obsessed with his Cold War allies that he completely ignored the words of wisdom coming out of the US Congress.

    For some reason, despite the chaos and sluggishness, Parliamentary Democracy is still the best.

    Coming back to Iran, I'd rather it was ruled by an elected Iranian Parliament that a directly elected president.
     
  11. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    He is already hand picked by the Ayatollah anyway so what difference does it make?
     
  12. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Are you responding to me?

    I said I wish the Iranian Parliament, elected by the people, ruled the country. I am making a wish or expressing a preference.
     
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Zbigniew Brzezinski was the one who convinced the US to 'give the Soviets their Vietnam' in Afghanistan. After 9/11, nobody cares about him and he has been totally sidelined.
     
  14. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    The Yanks may have f*#ked them in the 50's but the intellectuals [email protected] themselves more by allowing Ayatollah to wield absolute control over them. When they woke up from their revolution honeymoon they were already in Islamic Siberia.

    Thanks to mindless students who acted with their feet. Their blind contempt for America blinded them from their own devil...
     
  15. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    His daughter Mika interviews him occasionally on her TV show (with Joe Scarborough),:lol:
     
  16. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Why did your masters overthrow a democracy ?

    answer it.
     
  17. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Maybe because they were feeling invincible during that time (they were the ultimate power after WW2, almost unchallenged, they were also new to that power) and foolishly thought they could directly impose their will on Iran. This is really clumsy diplomacy, much like what China is doing now in SEA. They could have done better.
     
  18. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    No.

    It was because the govt was nationalizing the oil industry. The west particularly the british and usa couldn't tolerate iran controlling its own oil.

     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011

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