Proposed changes in Iran’s election laws are proving contentious, sparking a debate over who should decide which candidates can compete in June’s contest to succeed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The possible reforms and the controversy around them mark another round in the struggle between Ahmadinejad and his more conservative rivals, who hope to stymie any chance that an ally of the administration might continue its agenda, including the populist economic policies that many here believe have contributed to Iran’s recent fiscal woes.
Although presidential power is limited in Iran and final decisions remain in the hands of the country’s supreme leader, the president has traditionally served as the country’s international face, meaning that Ahmadinejad’s successor could play a pivotal role in a nuclear standoff with the West.
The aim of the changes, proposed by nearly one-third of Iran’s members of parliament, is twofold: to give parliament increased power in Iran’s cumbersome presidential vetting process while reducing the role of the executive branch in elections.
In addition to the proposed changes, the bill’s introductory note also grants a rare acknowledgment that international criticism of Iran’s domestic policies carries weight in the Islamic republic.
Full Article: Iran election laws under debate – The Washington Post.