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Energy Minister Survives Parliament Impeachment

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, March 6 (ICANA) –President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s energy minister survived an impeachment by the parliament Sunday.
Sunday, March 06, 2011 12:49:44 PM
Energy Minister Survives Parliament Impeachment

Out of 209 votes cast, 102 MPs voted for reinstatement of the energy minister; 101 voted against him and six MPs abstained.

Majid Namju had won 210 votes from the parliament when he was introduced to the parliament as energy minister last year.

Namju was the second minister to have been impeached by Iranian lawmakers over the past couple of months.

Former Transport Minister Hamed Behbahani was disqualified by the MPs in early February.

The lawmakers who sought removal of Namjou cited 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 transport minister had refused to attend the parliament to defend himself against the impeachment motion and Ahmadinejad 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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