TCC Appoints Caretaker Mayor

In a meeting on Sunday, the new members of the TCC elected Mostafa Salimi as temporary mayor of the capital
TCC Appoints Caretaker MayorTCC Appoints Caretaker Mayor

The Tehran City Council (TCC) on Sunday appointed a caretaker to the Tehran Municipality (TM) until the credentials of elected mayor, Mohammad Ali Najafi, are endorsed by the relevant administrative officials.

In a meeting on Sunday, the new members of the TCC elected Mostafa Salimi as temporary mayor of the capital. Salimi is a former mayor of districts 6, 18 and 21 in Tehran.

 The move came after the bureaucratic process for the endorsement of Najafi’s credentials took longer than usual, ISNA reported. This is the job of the Interior Ministry.  

According to Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, head of TCC, Najafi’s official appointment needs approval from the Ministry of Interior and this normally takes time. “Salimi will be in charge on a temporary basis,” he said.

Najafi, 66, was elected mayor by garnering the votes of all 21 councilors on August 23. He succeeds Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf who was in office for 12 years.

Najafi served as minister of education for eight years under former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-97) and was President Hassan Rouhani’s choice for the same portfolio in 2013, but failed to secure enough votes in parliament.  The Majlis in those years was dominated by Rouhani’s powerful political opponents as they had a majority in the top law-making institution.

  Promise of Openness

At the first TCC meeting last week, Najafi had pledged transparency, promising to disclose every contract signed by the municipality under his watch worth more than 10 billion rials ($262,000). He also promised to prepare a comprehensive report on the dire state of the metropolis within three months.

Tehran is grappling with a host of social and environmental problems that have made life difficult for its 12 million residents. The metropolis is home to a systemically growing number of migrants from all over the country looking for greener pastures. For many life in Tehran is not livable in the pollution-plagued capital where water, gas, electricity and transport networks are under strain and working at breaking point.

Morteza Alviri, a member of TCC and a former mayor, said last week that the new mayor has presented a roadmap to improve living conditions in the megacity that keeps expanding in all four directions.

He also said that the TM has a 235 trillion rials ($6.1 billion) unpaid debt to the government, contactors and banks.  The municipality with 63,000 workers has many unfinished projects and 300 trillion rials ($7.9 billion) is needed to complete the pending projects, the councilor said.


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