Reformist Faction Appeals for Cabinet Overhaul

National Desk
Reformist Faction Appeals for Cabinet OverhaulReformist Faction Appeals for Cabinet Overhaul

The reformist-moderate parliamentary faction "Hope" has requested major reforms in the next Cabinet of the newly-reelected President Hassan Rouhani, warning that he would not be able to make good on his electoral pledges unless the new team is more closely aligned with his goals.

Spokesman of the faction, Bahram Parsaei, made the call while speaking to ICANA on Saturday, after a meeting of the group focused on reviewing the performance of 18 incumbent ministers.

"The session centered on assisting the president in forming his Cabinet. Opinions of the faction members will be communicated to the government. We expect more than 50% of the makeup to change," he said, without elaborating further.

Over 23 million people from a total of 41 million voters cast ballots in favor of Rouhani in May elections to extend the mandate of the centrist president for another four years.

Rouhani, a staunch supporter of broader international engagement and liberal reforms to the largely state-run economy, made pledges for improving the livelihood of ordinary Iranians and curbing unemployment.

The president also vowed to obtain relief from the remaining unilateral US sanctions that are still hampering economic ties with Europe and Asia.

Although the 2015 nuclear deal championed by Rouhani lifted many international sanctions on Iran, experts believe his first government nearly failed to attract much-needed foreign investment and high-tech to rebuild the stagnant economy.

  Rouhani Needs Fervent Believers

Parsaei said the new Cabinet members should strongly support Rouhani's agenda.

"If people not believing in Rouhani's campaign pledges enter the Cabinet, we should expect nothing but obstacles in the path of government," he said.

Rouhani faced difficulties in earning the approval of the previous principlist-dominated parliament to put together his first Cabinet in 2013 and was forced to propose three or even four nominees for some ministerial posts.

But the current parliament, dominated by a reformist-moderate alliance which managed to break a chain of three-time principlist victories in early 2016 elections, is closely aligned with the government.

In the context of Iranian politics, "moderate" refers to the staunch supporters of Rouhani's administration.

Rouhani is scheduled to take the oath of office in the parliament on August 5 and he will have two weeks from the swearing-in ceremony to propose his Cabinet members to parliament for a vote of confidence.

The Majlis will examine the credentials of candidates over a week and the aspirants will then appear before the lawmakers to outline their plan of action and secure confirmation votes.


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