IranMiddle East

Iran lawmakers want say on Cabinet vetting

As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad moves to form his new government in the coming week, some 200 Principlist lawmakers call on the president to seek their consultation about his Cabinet appointments.

In a meeting with the newly-inaugurated president on Monday, Principlist representatives in Majlis shared their views with Ahmadinejad and explained their expectations from his next government.

President Ahmadinejad had been criticized during his first term in office for frequently reshuffling the Cabinet and for making use of ministers who lacked experience.

The call by the president’s allies in the Iranian Parliament comes as the first Ahmadinejad tenure provoked fierce controversy after removal of “too many” Cabinet members by the president, with many insiders going as far to question the legitimacy of the administration.

According to Article 136 of Iran’s Constitution, if more than half of the members of Cabinet are replaced, “the government must seek a fresh vote of confidence from Parliament.”

The latest of Cabinet dismissals was the removal of Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei by President Ahmadinejad, which provoked barrages of criticism from many Principlist lawmakers and senior clerics in the country.

Earlier in June, Ahmadinejad announced that the cabinet will undergo “major changes” to comply with the needs of his second term in office.

However, Principlist lawmaker Ahmad Avayi said Parliament would not turn a bind eye to changes at the ministry, following a report suggesting that at least four deputy ministers had been dismissed due to opposition to Ahmadinejad’s policies in handling of affairs.

In line with his decision for major changes, the Iranian president said on Saturday that there will be “an unprecedented number of young people” in the new Cabinet.

This announcement has also faced storms of criticism from officials in the country.

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani took a swipe at the announcement on Monday, saying a minister is expected to have enough work experience so that he would not training at the beginning of his job.

In separate comments, Parliament Vice Speaker Mohammad-Reza Bahonar said while there is no opposition to the employment of young elements, the youth should work their way through a certain hierarchy to achieve progress and experience.

During the Monday consultation with the president, Hamidreza Fouladgar, Majlis representative for the central province of Isfahan, said parliament officials had conveyed their views about suitable choices for becoming ministers to Ahmadinejad.

“We hope that Mr. Ahmadinejad pays enough attention [to our suggestions],” he told the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA).

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