August 28, 2009

Ahmadinejad’s female cabinet nominees face opposition

According to Press TV:

In a crucial setback for the Iranian president, a major block of Parliament deputies have decided to reject Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s proposed women ministers. In the run up to his second four-term in office, Ahmadinejad made major changes to the combination of his Cabinet while he selected three women to head key ministries.
However, in an internal meeting, the Principlist Islamic Revolution block decided earlier in the week to reject the three females, reported the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on Friday. A block member, who did not want to be named, explained the reasoning for their decision, saying that each candidate was rejected for a different reason. With regards to proposed health minister Vahid-Dastjerdi, he said that “certain reports about her business activities had reached the block which altered the opinion of the members about her.”
The Principlist Majlis deputy, who sits on another block as well, said about Keshavarz, who has been offered the education portfolio: “We have heard that she was active in the campaign headquarters of (defeated presidential candidate) Mir-Hossein Mousavi.” Keshavarz had reportedly told deputies that Ahmadinejad had tapped her with knowledge of this fact.
The third candidate, Ajorlou, who was picked for the welfare post, was rejected because she ‘is too good.’ “It would be a shame if she becomes welfare minister,” said the unnamed source, presumably because the ministry is due to be disbanded in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the main reformist block of the Majlis has decided in favor of one of the three women, the proposed health minister, Vahid-Dastjerdi. Intensive lobbying by the president and his staff are going on at the same time, and the final decision about the fates of the proposed ministers should be determined in the coming days after a week of cross-examination and deliberation by the Majlis.
The three women, — Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi, Susan Keshavarz and Fatemeh Ajorlou – and the rest of the new Cabinet need to be approved by the Majlis, which is due to consider their appointments from August 30.

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