MPs Asked to Delay Impeachment Motions

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani asked MPs to postpone three impeachment motions at hand in a bid to have a better opportunity to study the government’s economic reform plan, the national unity plan and the new year’s budget.

The parliament has reportedly received three impeachment motions against the Ministers of Health Kamran Baqeri Lankarani, Education Alireza Ali-Ahmadi and Agriculture Mohammad Reza Eskandari, a press tv report said.

Baqeri Lankarani has been accused of incompetence, while Ali-Ahmadi has been charged with ignoring the financial woes of teachers, and failing to pay school budgets and teachers’ retirement bonuses in full, causing widespread dissatisfaction among the ministry’s employees.

In the case against the agriculture minister, a failure to deliver on his promises and the expulsion of experienced managers in the ministry are among the reasons cited in the motion.

Amid speculation that the impeachment of the three ministers had been called off due to the lack of parliamentary support, Iranian speaker Ali Larijani asserted on Sunday that all three cases had received the required number of signatures.

Under the Iranian law, an impeachment motion needs a minimum of ten signatures in order to be placed on the Parliament agenda.

Larijani, in an effort to address concerns about parliament’s unresponsiveness toward calls to move forward with the cases, said, “Parliament members have been asked to postpone the cases of impeachment due to the tight schedule of Parliament.”

The parliament speaker added that the postponement would allow Parliament to study the government’s economic reform plan and the “National Unity” plan, adding that it would also provide the three ministers with an opportunity to plead their cases with parliamentarians and avoid impeachment.

The new impeachment motions were recently filed after the parliament dismissed former interior minister Ali Kordan over his forged Oxford University Ph.D degree – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cabinet’s 10th replaced minister.

Iran’s Constitution requires the president to seek a vote of confidence for his entire cabinet if more than half of the 21 total ministers (11) are replaced.

Earlier in December, a member of Iran’s National Security Commission, Javad Karimi-Qodousi, said the impeachment process “had mounted a major challenge to President Ahmadinejad.”

Pointing to the current global and domestic economic problems and President Ahmadinejad’s twilight days in office, Karimi-Qodousi said pushing for the ministers’ impeachment “is not in the interest of the country and nation.”

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