Majlis Finally Approves Rouhani Minister

Majlis Finally Approves Rouhani Minister
Majlis Finally Approves Rouhani Minister

After months of controversy over who should run the ministry of higher education, lawmakers finally reached a consensus among themselves to give a vote of confidence to President Hassan Rouhani's fifth nominee for the post.          

The Majlis overwhelmingly approved Mohammad Farhadi as minister of higher education just a week after he was nominated by the president in a letter to parliament.

Of 235 lawmakers who were present at the parliament session on Wednesday, 197 MPs voted in favor of Farhadi's nomination, 28 voted against and ten abstained.  

President Hassan Rouhani was present at parliament and gave a speech in support of his choice.

He said Farhadi is a “symbol of moderation” and defended the qualifications of his pick. Rouhani also warned against creating discord between the government and the Majlis, IRNA reported.

Farhadi is an otorhinolaryngologist and has a record of running ministries of higher education and health in previous administrations.

The ministry of higher education has been run by a caretaker since mid-August when the Majlis impeached Reza Faraji-Dana.

The conservative members of parliament had accused Faraji-Dana of mismanagement, especially concerning the case of students expelled from universities.   

A controversial investigation into a case known as “illegal scholarships” awarded by the previous administration, which was launched during Faraji-Dana’s tenure, was reportedly among the reasons behind the motion to oust him.

After Faraji-Dana’s dismissal, Rouhani proposed two other nominees to the Majlis; however, both of them failed to win the lawmakers’ vote of approval to take over the ministry.

Majlis also denied a vote of approval to Jafar Mili Monfared, Rouhani’s original candidate for the post, following his inauguration as president last year. Some conservative parliamentarians had implied that Rouhani’s previous candidates were rejected by parliament partly due to their alleged involvement in and support for the unrest which occurred after the 2009 presidential election or because they remained silent or failed to condemn the events that are referred to as “sedition”.