Mixed Views on Majlis Decision to Question President Rouhani

Mixed Views on Majlis Decision to Question President Rouhani Mixed Views on Majlis Decision to Question President Rouhani

Following a motion put forward by 80 lawmakers to question President Hassan Rouhani about his administration's poor handling of mounting economic challenges, officials have reflected on the propriety of the rare move. 

While some say that questioning the president should not be considered a "taboo", others believe that the move will play into the hands of foes who want to  undermine security and stability in the country. 

The questions Rouhani has to answer deal with his administration's inability to stop foreign currency and goods smuggling, reverse the crippling economic and banking sanctions, failure to create jobs and curb the recession that has lingered for several years, according to ICANA. 

  Inappropriate Time  

In a letter to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Sunday, Rouhani said the lawmakers' decision is neither within the framework of the Constitution nor does it come at an opportune time. 

"However, in order to prevent discord between the branches of government and out of respect for the Majlis, I will appear before the Majlis in due time," the president wrote, ISNA reported. 

Rouhani has one month to attend the parliamentary session to defend his performance, according to lawmaker Akbar Ranjbarzadeh. 

  National Interests 

MP Fatemeh Hosseini believes that summoning the president to Parliament under current circumstances is not proper.  Grilling the president would weaken him and his administration and undermine national interest, she said in a statement carried by ICANA on Sunday. 

  No Taboo 

However, Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moghadam, a member of the Expediency Council, says questioning the chief executive should not be turned into a "taboo". 

"Lawmakers have questioned presidents in the past. We should not say that this is tantamount to political tension," he told ISNA.  The senior cleric believes that the process can and should present an opportunity to Rouhani to clarify  ambiguities related to the dysfunctional economy.  

  Not Political 

Echoing a similar view, lawmaker Alireza Salimi said the motion is bipartisan and was signed by parliamentarians across the political spectrum. The president has failed to make good on his campaign promises such as tackling unemployment, increasing exports, attracting foreign investment after the 2015 nuclear deal and building low-cost housing…and must be held accountable, Salimi told the news agency at the weekend. 

Lawmaker Abolfazl Mousavi argues that the people’s representatives are legally entitled to question the president and his ministers. 

Rouhani should use the session in the chamber to speak frankly with the people and inform them of the latest developments, ICANA quoted him as saying. 

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