Roads and Urban Development Minister Faces Impeachment

Roads and Urban Development Minister Faces Impeachment Roads and Urban Development Minister Faces Impeachment

The Majlis Presiding Board on Tuesday acknowledged the receipt of a motion for the impeachment of Roads and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi in the second such attempt.

The request has been signed by 34 parliamentarians who cited his weak performance that led to a terrible train collision in November, one of the worst rail accidents in Iran in recent memory, Fars News Agency reported.

Forty-nine died and 103 were injured in what has become a national scandal and prompted the resignation of the head of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, Mohsen Pourseyyed-Aqaei.

The disaster occurred when a passenger train hit another that had stopped near Haft-Khan Station on the railroad linking the cities of Semnan and Damghan in northeast Iran. The cause was described as "human error".

Akhoundi's weak response to previous transport accidents, lack of transparency in transport contracts and poor management of the housing sector were among other reasons mentioned in the text of the motion. Under the parliamentary procedures, after an impeachment request is presented to the presiding board, it will be sent to Majlis Development Commission for consideration.

If the number of supporters of the impeachment declines to less than 10 lawmakers after a meeting between the commission and the minister, the impeachment will be canceled, otherwise its receipt will be announced by the presiding board.

According to law, the impeached person has 10 days to appear before the Majlis to defend his record and seek a vote of confidence.

In 2015, Akhoundi managed to survive an impeachment vote in the previous principlist-dominated Majlis. If it goes ahead, this will be the fourth impeachment of ministers from the administration of President Hassan Rouhani.


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