Women, Minorities Absent in Rouhani’s New Government Lineup

Women, Minorities Absent in Rouhani’s New Government Lineup

Wednesday, 9 August, 2017 - 08:00
Iran President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech after being sworn in before parliament in Tehran, on August 5, 2017. (AFP)
London - Adel al-Salmi
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani put forward on Tuesday a list including the names of 17 ministers of his new government lineup to parliament, but failed to keep his campaign promises to appoint women and minorities.

Rouhani faced increasing pressure from allied political movements before announcing his government lineup that carried no surprises when it came to the promises he made during the presidential campaign to appoint a woman and a minister from the ethnic factions in his cabinet.

The ministerial lineup must now be approved by parliament in a session expected to take place next week.

Deputies from the Turkish Azeri parliamentary bloc that includes 110 MPs, criticized Rouhani on Tuesday for not including the “Turkish competencies” and asked that such an absence be compensated later through appointments in the positions of deputy ministers and heads of government institutions.

Hussein Ali Amiri, Iran's Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs, said that the president consulted with the head of the country’s political parties and main parliamentary blocs ahead of drafting his lineup.

Rouhani made few major changes in his team by renewing the appointment of nine ministers from his current government, including Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi.

In an attempt to please his reformist allies, Rouhani also chose Masoud Karbasian as economic affairs and finance minister and Habibollah Bitaraf as energy minister, two technocrats who worked in the government of former reformist President Mohammed Khatami.

On August 5, Rouhani was sworn in for a further term during a ceremony held at parliament in Tehran.

Deputy parliament speaker Masoud Pezeshkian said parliament has started to study the records of the suggested ministers in the specialized committees ahead of voting on the new cabinet lineup in an open session next week.

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