Conservative MPs oppose Ahmadinejad cabinet

Conservative MPs oppose Ahmadinejad cabinet

“Sixteen nominees have no experience required for the ministries they have been nominated for,” said powerful MP Ahmad Tavakoli as parliament began a three-day debate on the 21-member new cabinet ahead of Wednesday’s vote of confidence.
 “The cabinet lacks harmony in its view when it comes to handling crucial issues such as economic development. ”

Another top conservative, Mohammad Reza Bahonar, said he will “definitely not vote for a few nominees.

“Some nominees of four or five ministries have an educational background which is contradictory to their portfolios,” Bahonar said. Ahmadinejad, whose re-election triggered the worst crisis in the Islamic republic’s history, is under fire from his own hardline supporters over several political decisions he made soon after his disputed June 12 victory.

MPs are also furious at not being consulted over the cabinet, and he faces a daunting task in securing parliamentary approval for a line-up which includes many new faces, among them three women — a first in the Islamic republic.
Ahmadinejad has retained five ministers in the same posts, including Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

Current Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar has been nominated as interior minister, while commerce minister Masoud Mirkazemi is his pick for the crucial oil ministry in OPEC’s second largest exporter.

However, Mirkazemi is expected to be rejected because of his lack of expertise in the sector, media reports said. He was also nearly impeached in 2007 and 2008 over rising prices of basic commodities.

The three female nominees are also expected to face an uphill battle.