“Pledge to Increase Cash Subsidies Aimed at Buying Votes”

“Pledge to Increase Cash Subsidies Aimed at Buying Votes”

A top Iranian parliamentarian says the promise of increasing cash handouts by some presidential candidates is a clear example of vote-buying.

In a Farsi interview with ICANA, member of Iran’s Parliament Ahmad-Ali Kaykha said some candidates, with no regard for the law, are promising to increase the amount of subsidies if they become president.

He said such a campaign slogan is an obvious example of buying votes.

The MP said Iran’s state radio and TV (known as the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Broadcasting Organization or the IRIB) should invite independent experts to discuss whether or not the campaign pledge can actually by fufilled.

He said Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has also shown reaction to such slogans.

“Many of the respected candidates don’t have enough knowledge of the basic principles of law as [they should know that] the financial resources and costs in a country are determined by the Parliament in annual budget packages,” said Kaykha, who sits on the Parliament’s Agriculture, Water and Natural Resources Commission.

Regardless of whether increasing cash subsidies would be a positive or negative step, said the MP, one should bear in mind that it is not within the administration’s authority to increase them.

“To increase cash subsidies, the administration needs the Parliament’s approval,” the MP noted.

“One can say that some candidates are making comments beyond their legal powers,” he said.

The MP further added, “Some individuals make moves which are like acts of suicide, and say whatever they want, in order to become president and probably achieve other objectives they are pursuing.”

“If we want to triple cash subsidies, we need to borrow,” the Parliament representative underlined.

He also said the Parliament speaker has adopted an appropriate position regarding the candidates’ promise to increase cash subsidies.

“He (Larijani) should defend the position of the legislature more, should say that many of the comments made by the candidates are not within their prerogatives according to the Constitution, and that such a move is subject to the Parliament’s approval,” Kaykha noted.

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