Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ahmadinejad’s Government Might Face No-Confidence Vote

The Majlis deputies have introduced no-confidence bills on four cabinet members: Eskandari, Minister of Agriculture; Ali-Ahmadi, Minister of Education; Lankarani, Minister of Health; Soleymani, Minister of Communications and Information Technology.

Reports from Tehran indicate that enough deputies have signed the no-confidence petitions. The speaker of Majlis on Wednesday was forced to announce that he would put the no-confidence bills on the chamber’s agenda.

Iran’s constitution (Article 136) requires the government to ask for a vote of confidence for the entire cabinet if more than half its original ministers were to be replaced. Already half of the ministers have been either replaced by Ahmadinejad or ousted as a result of no-confidence votes in the Majlis. A no-confidence vote for any of the four ministers would tip the balance.

Relations between Ahmadinejad’s government and the current Majlis have reached a low point and political observers believe that Ahmadinejad might loose a confidence vote for his cabinet if he is forced to ask for one. Such development would be a major blow to Ahmadinejad’s authority, forcing him to form a new cabinet acceptable to the increasingly hostile Majlis.

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