Monday، 19 March 2018 | Score:
A Failed Impeachment
Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development was eventually impeached by Parliament on February 19, 2017 after so many disputes.
This was the second time Akhoundi faced an impeachment since the Government of Hassan Rouhani started in August 2013.
In October 2015, he won a resounding vote of confidence from 175 lawmakers to remain in his post.
In the second impeachment in February 2017, Akhoundi again won the votes of 176 MPs, a number that was even greater than two previous impeachments.
The latest impeachment, which according to many observers was politically motivated, was pursued by 34 parliamentarians (MP Kamal Dehqani Firouzabadi later withdraw his signature) who did not even hear out the minister’s responses to their questions. In an unprecedented move, seven parliamentarians left last week’s meeting of the commission as the minister was answering their questions.
Yet, Akhoundi had announced that he is all set to provide detailed answers to the questions in the impeachment session.
Many MPs disagreed with the impeachment and considered it to be against the interests of the country as it was pursued by a minority of extremist MPs.
The process of a second impeachment was set off when a passenger train crashed into a second passenger train that had broken down at Haf-Khan, Semnan Province. Following this collision on 25 November 2016, four coaches derailed; two of which caught fire killing 47 and injuring 103.
Following this bitter accident, the Iranian President offered his condolences to the victims' families and asked for an investigation into the accident to find out the causes and discover where the responsibility for the accident lies. Next, the Managing Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, Mohsen Pourseyyed Aqaei, resigned, offering his apology to the nation for the deadly incident.
Including forming an investigation committee, which after close examination reported the "human error" as the cause of collision; Akhoundi apologized to the bereaved families, the injured and all of the dear Azeris (people of provinces of West and East Azerbaijan). He also wrote his resignation as a respect to the public opinion but was rejected by the President.
To many, the impeachment was totally untimely and against national interests; since there is less than three months left to the next presidential election in May and close to the high peak of travels in Iran due to New Year holidays. Furthermore, as the Parliament’s reformist group highlighted, instead of impeaching the Minister, the country needs to prioritize the improvement of people’s safety on the roads and development of transportation infrastructure.
Rouhani's government including Eshaq Jahangiri the first Vice President, Hosseinali Amiri Vice President for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as well as professional societies in transport sector and the public witnessed and commended Akhoundi’s achievements and strongly supported his performance. The latest achievement is the huge contract of Airbus, Boeing and ATR after almost 40 years to renovate the aging aviation fleet of Iran.
By Samaneh Afshar