Bill to restrict consecutive MP terms raises debate in Iran

Al-Monitor | : A controversial bill in the Iranian parliament seeks to ban its members from running for office after serving three consecutive terms. Under the new bill, high-profile moderates such as current parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani and outspoken lawmaker Ali Motahari, who have both served three consecutive terms, would not be eligible to run in the 2020 legislative elections.

On March 3, parliament passed the bill, with 135 members voting in favor. The bill also stipulates that after a period of four years, the ban is lifted and the individual may again run for parliament. To become law, the bill must now be approved by the Guardian Council, and the powerful body hasn’t stated its position yet.

Based on this bill, 34 current parliamentarians will be forbidden from running in the 2020 parliamentary elections. A number of Reformists and conservatives opine that this bill isn’t in line with the constitution, as it limits the people’s right to choose their preferred candidates.

Sadegh Zibakalam, a prominent Reformist analyst, told a local news site, “[Limiting] the number of times the parliamentarians can take part in the parliamentary elections and restricting it to three consecutive terms is against the constitution and principles of democracy. People have the right to say who will represent them, whether a parliamentarian is [elected] three times or 30 times.”

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