Tuesday, October 12, 2004

:: Xinhuanet - English ::

:: Xinhuanet - English ::: "Moderate cleric appointed Iran's new vice president

www.chinaview.cn 2004-10-13 03:14:52

TEHRAN, Oct. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Majid Ansari, former head of Majlis'(parliament) plan and budget commission and a politically moderate cleric, was named Tuesday as Iran's new vice president for legal and parliamentary affairs, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Ansari will replace Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who resigned early thismonth in protest against the parliament's impeachment of former Transportation Minister Ahmad Khorram.

Abtahi also protested to the Guardian Council against the disqualification in the seventh Majlis election, which took place in February. He slammed it as "an undemocratic election."

Ansari, a mid-ranking cleric, is member of two powerful political bodies, namely, the Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council. The former holds the power to choose Supreme Leader and make decision on other important affairs; the latter serves as an arbitration body.

Ansari is also known as a vocal critic of the Guardian Council, and he criticized it for ignoring Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Khamenei's demand not to disqualify reform-minded lawmakers of the former parliament from running in the seventh Majlis election.

The hardliner-dominated Guardian Council in early January disqualified nearly 3,605 reform-minded candidates competing for posts in the seventh Majlis. After the interference of Supreme Leader Khamenei, more than 1,400 were restored to be qualified eventually."

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