Islamic Councils Seek More Authority

Islamic Councils Seek More AuthorityIslamic Councils Seek More Authority

Islamic Councils are seeking greater authority to set up a “united management system” to meet public expectations, head of the Supreme Council of Provinces Gholamreza Basiripour said at a meeting in Isfahan, attended by the governor and heads of Isfahan Islamic Councils on Sunday.

“The country’s managers, especially members of parliament (Majlis) are expected to define the councils’ growth process and provide a platform to increase their authority as well,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

Pointing to the unsuccessful efforts of Islamic Councils in this regard over the past years, he noted: “The Supreme Council of Provinces has placed the matter of increasing the councils’ authority on the agenda as one of its priority programs in the year (started March 21).”

On the importance of the Supreme Council’s cooperation with the government and parliament, he said: “The council intends to propose outlines of plans to overcome provincial councils’ problems.” Moreover, efforts will be made to help the government and the councils utilize their potential and capacity to provide better services, he added.  

To take advantage of modern technology in terms of holding video conferences is another plan underway to improve communication between the Supreme Council and the provincial Islamic Councils, he underlined.

He pointed to its other programs including: providing the councils with facilities, holding a national festival of the country’s best council, and organizing the biggest gathering of members of provincial councils, which will be attended by President Hassan Rouhani on April 29, coinciding with the commemoration of Council Day.

Urging councils to avoid political activities, he said: “If their activities are based on political motives, it will erode public trust, leading to lowering their status among the people.”

In Iran the provinces are subdivided into cities, counties, districts, and townships. The minister of interior appoints the governors-general for provinces and governors for counties. At each level there is a council, and the Supreme Council of Provinces is formed from among representatives of the provincial councils. The ministry of interior appoints city mayors, but city councilmen are locally elected.

Currently there are 161 city councils, 1000 district councils, 35,000 township councils, 31 provincial councils, and 427 county councils that involve 117,000 workers aggregately, he pointed out.