Iranian lawmaker says ministers' removal "illegal"

11:09, May 16, 2011      

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The senior Iranian lawmaker Mohammad- Reza Bahonar said Sunday that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's decision to relieve three ministers of their responsibilities is illegal, the English language satellite Press TV reported.

Bahonar said he had informed Ahmadinejad in a letter that ending the ministers' mission by invoking the 53rd article of Iran 's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan is illegal, said the report.

"No new ministry can be established unless Majlis (Parliament) approves the mandate of the new ministries," he was quoted as saying.

Bahonar said he had also written to the three ministers and informed them that "you are ministers unless you are impeached by Majlis or dismissed by the president but if the president says we do not have a ministry and therefore you are no longer ministers this is illegal," according to Press TV.

In three separate decrees on Saturday, Ahmadinejad dismissed Welfare and Social Security Minister Sadeq Mahsouli, Minister of Industries and Mines Ali-Akbar Mehrabian and Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi from their posts, according to the 53rd article of the country's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan.

According to the plan, the Iranian government is obliged to reduce its ministries form 21 to 17 to officially improve the efficiency of state administration.

Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani disagreed on Tuesday with the government plan to merge ministries and warned against "heavy costs" of the plan.

"If the Iranian government communicated an approval on the merger of eight ministries, it has acted against the law," said the speaker.

In response to Larijani's comments, Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Mohammad-Reza Mir-Tajeddini said that the government acted legally and in accordance with the country's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan.

"The government decided based on the plan and communicated it to the ministers. It also sent the plan to the Majlis to ensure its conformity with law," Mir-Tajeddini was quoted as saying by Press TV.

Source: Xinhua
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