Three of Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet nominees failed to receive a vote of confidence from Iran’s parliament today.
The debate in Iran’s parliament over President Hassan Rouhani’s 18-member cabinet nominations began earlier this week with conservative MPs accusing Rouhani of inviting “seditionists” into his cabinet who had a role in the 2009 election protests. The word “sedition” was used so often that Iranian social media users began tallying the number of times the word was used.
Since the beginning of the hearings, however, the atmosphere in parliament has calmed down considerably, and the word “sedition” was used far less frequently. There has still been strong objections to various nominations, however, both on the parliament floor and in Iranian media.
Today, Iran’s parliament began debating President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet nominations. Although opposition websites had stated that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had twice reviewed Rouhani’s cabinet nominations before they were presented to parliament, today’s session was an opportunity for some hard-line parliament members to publicly air grievances, especially in regard to the 2009 election protests and the Green Movement.
President Hassan Rouhani spoke briefly Sunday at his inauguration and addressed the importance of fighting corruption, having a government that’s accountable to the people’s needs and the importance of international relations based on mutual respect.
In a speech to a crowd of university students today, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed the protests of the 2009 elections, his fears about what those protests could have led to and questioned why those who claimed that fraud was committed have not yet apologized.
A source close to President-elect Hassan Rouhani spoke with Aseman Weekly about the incoming administration’s potential cabinet appointments and behind-the-scenes activities. Traffic at the Center for Strategic Research, a think tank under the Expediency Council headed by Rouhani since 1992, has increased since his surprising election and speculation has run wild about who will fill his top cabinet positions and what influence key players such as former presidents Mohammad Khatami and Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani will have.
With Hassan Rouhani’s landslide victory, the futures of some his competitors appear uncertain. Websites that supported Rouhani’s campaign have already begun to speculate who the president-elect will pick for his cabinet. Mojtaba Hosseini has written in Reformist newspaper Etemad about the next steps for the five losing candidates.