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President at Parliament to Defend Energy Minister against Impeachment

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, March 6 (ICANA) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended the parliament Sunday to defend his energy minister against MPs’ impeachment.
Sunday, March 06, 2011 11:45:27 AM
President at Parliament to Defend Energy Minister against Impeachment

He went to the house three hours after the impeachment session started.

The MPs plan to impeach Energy Minister Majid Namjou for his “poor record” in managing the ministry’s affairs.

Earlier Sunday, First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi together with Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Mohammad Reza Mir-Tajeddini as well as a number of ministers including foreign affairs, commerce, culture, and welfare attended the Majlis session.

Some 45 lawmakers have signed the motion for impeachment of the energy minister.

The energy minister attended the Majlis earlier Sunday morning to answer the lawmakers’ questions. Then the motion will be put to vote. If the minister fails to gain the parliament’s vote of confidence, he will be ousted.

The lawmakers who seek a removal of Namjou cite weak management, poor planning, existence of discrimination in the ministry, failure to fulfill commitments and promises, failure to implement the cabinet’s ratifications, technical incapability, inappropriate replacement of managers, and long delays in the dam construction and water supply and wastewater treatment projects as the reasons to oust him.

On February 1, the Majlis withdrew its confidence vote for Transport Minister Hamid Behbahani.

The minister had refused to attend the parliament to defend himself against the impeachment motion and Ahmadinejad strongly criticized the impeachment as “illegal”.

He said under the Constitution if the names of lawmakers seeking the impeachment change, the minister must be given another ten days to attend the parliament.

According to the law, the minister has ten days to attend Majlis and respond to questions once the impeachment plan is raised unless MPs officially withdraw impeachment motion.

Ahmadinejad said the names of lawmakers calling for the impeachment changed until the very last day, therefore Behbahani had to be given another ten days.

He added according to the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan, the number of the ministries must be reduced from 21 to 17, so a number of ministries, including the Transport Ministry, must be merged, otherwise “I had intended to seriously pursue the matter.” Ahmadinejad called Behbahani the “best minister” of the cabinet.

The impeachment followed the crash of an Iran Air Boeing 727 which occurred near Urmia, the capital city of West Azarbaijan province, on January 9 in which 78 passengers were killed and 33 were injured.

Long flight delays, repetition of air crashes, mismanagement of the Transport Ministry, poor situation of road transport, and long delays in the implementation of road construction projects were cited as the reasons for the impeachment of the minister.


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