Rafsanjani to head key Iran cleric body

Chairman of the Expediency Council and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was elected on Tuesday as new chief of Iran's powerful Assembly of Experts, which could choose or dismiss the country's supreme leader, state-run media reported.

Rafsanjani to head key Iran cleric body
Chairman of the Expediency Council and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was elected on Tuesday as new chief of Iran's powerful Assembly of Experts, which could choose or dismiss the country's supreme leader, state-run media reported.

The post of chairman of this top clerical body has been vacant since its former chief Ayatollah Ali Meshkini, who headed it for the past 27 years, died in the end of July.

Rafsanjani, who was considered as a moderate leader compared with the current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has worked as the acting head of the clerical body under Meshkini.

According to the reports, Rafsanjani won the assembly's chairmanship by 41 votes while his rival, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati secured 30.

The Assembly of Experts is a clerical and congressional body which has the power to elect and supervise Iran's chief, the Supreme Leader. The assembly has 86 seats and members of the institution must be elected by direct public vote.

The current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei was elected in 1989 to succeed the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Members of the Assembly of Experts are elected by public vote for eight-year terms. They do not face any restriction from the Constitution concerning their engagement in other occupations, such as membership of the parliament or holding government positions.

As a result, a number of members of the Assembly of Experts are also leading Iranian officials.

Agencies
Last Mod: 05 Eylül 2007, 11:23
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