Days after some Iranian politicians suggested to do away with the presidency, reformist pundits have sounded the alarm that it will strengthen totalitarianism.

Reformist cleric Mohammad Taqi Fazel Maybodi told the media that Iranian conservatives plan to make constitutional changes that would further undermine citizens’ rights and the nature of the regime as a Republic.

Conservative politician Mohammad-Reza Bahonar suggested earlier this month that constitutional changes that at face value sounded like an attempt for more opening in the political system, allowing the formation of political parties. But debates following his statement revealed that he and others were thinking of doing away with the presidency.

Speaking in an interview with ILNA, Maybodi said some conservatives have been dreaming about limiting the people’s rights and undermining the nature of Iran’s political system as a republic by giving more powers to the conservative-dominated Guardian Council.

Maybodi made thecomment about a conservative plot against the republic while several moderate and reformist figures have also supported Bahonar’s idea during the past week in the hope of lending legitimacy to the regime and facilitating political participation by a wider range of politicians from across Iran’s political spectrum.

Although Bahonar’s idea might be a genuine demand for change to end the political impasse created by the total takeover of political institutions by hardline conservatives, it could also be an idea coming from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s inner circle to save a regime that has lost the people’s trust.

Maybodi called Bahonar’s idea of constitutional changes a paradoxical plan that could lead to further losses for the people rather than bringing about political benefits for them. Maybodi believes that Khamenei would hand over any constitutional change to the conservative Guardian Council and the Assembly of Experts.

He said the plan to do away with the presidency and replacing it with a parliamentary system with a prime minister from within the Majles will further undermine the nature of the regime. A prime minister will be appointed by parliament, not directly elected by the people. The situation will become even worse if the non-elected Guardian Council interferes in the selection of a prime minister, as it does with all parliamentary decisions.

Maybodi’s solution is to preserve the current presidential system and to have a prime minister appointed by the president. He said that deciding to make the changes under the all-conservative regime rather than under the moderate administration of Former President Hassan Rouhani makes the idea dodgier.

Meanwhile, former lawmaker Hossein Kanani Moghaddam said in an interview with Khabar Online website that hardline conservatives who have taken over all government institutions, now want to create the infrastructure for a despotic regime. They “are planning to establish an all-conservative totalitarian ruling system. This might prove successful for some time, but as soon as they need to refer to the people’s vote for any matter, they might be let down by the public,” he said.

However, he argued that both conservatives and reformists have failed to stand by the promises they made to the people during elections as soon as they were put in office.

Moghaddam said that the constitutional changes recently suggested by conservatives could have some advantages, but it is more likely to bring about a despotic dictatorship and this contradicts the spirit of the Constitution. He warned the conservatives that with pursuing such plans they might end up in the museum of history.

Source » trackpersia