Thursday, June 20, 2019 09:42

Ahmadinejad establishes constitutional watchdog

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has established a Supervisory Committee for the constitution, despite opposition from the Guardian Council, which is already the supervisory body in the Islamic Republic system.

The Fars news agency reports that Ahmadinejad established the committee on Wednesday and appointed 11 members, all with an eye to “protecting” the constitution.

His committee is comprised of Vice-president Mohammadreza Rahimi, presidential legal advisor Fatemeh Bedaghi, Minister of Justice Morteza Bakhtiyari and the president's parliamentary deputy Mohammadrez Mirtajedini among others.

The president announced that the committee is responsible for “supervising adherence to the principles of the constitution, following up on on the achievement of the objectives of the constitution, proposing changes to laws and regulations for better adherence to the constitution, identifying cases of violation of the constitution, creating an evaluation process for the implementation of the constitution, planning for public participation in implementing of the constitution, and the promotion of dialogue around the rights and ideas contained within the constitution.”

The Guardian Council had announced a few days earlier that it is opposed to the establishment of such a committee. The Guardian Council is responsible for ensuring that parliamentary legislation adheres to the principles of the constitution.

The Supervisory Committee for the constitution was first established during the reformist administration of Mohammad Khatami. When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took over in 2005, he dismantled the committee, claiming there was no need for such a government body.

He said recently that he has reconsidered his decision and come to the realization that the committee was “highly needed and extremely necessary.”

According to Iranian law, the president is responsible for supervising adherence to the constitution.

The Guardian Council had opposed such a supervisory committee even when Khatami was president.