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Iran votes to keep labour, transport ministers despite mismanagement allegations Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Iran votes to keep labour, transport ministers despite mismanagement allegations

Supporters say that not all accusations were directly related to the ministry [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 March, 2018

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Labour and transport government officials both retain their jobs after lawmakers vote in favour amid face mismanagement allegations
Iranian lawmakers voted in favour of keeping the country’s ministers of labour and transportation on Tuesday amid allegations of mismanagement by both government officials.

Labour minister Ali Rabiei, who opponents blame for the 12 percent rise in unemployment, managed to keep his job after lawmakers in the 290-seat chamber were unable to produce enough votes to fire him at a morning session.

The vote was seen as part of a push and pull between hard-liners in parliament and President Hassan Rouhani's administration.

124 lawmakers from the 253 voted to keep Rabiei, while 126 voted to fire him, and two abstained according to State TV.

One vote was made void because it was late.

Abstentions in parliament are considered in-favour vote according to procedural regulations, causing Rabiei to narrowly keep his position.

Rabiei was criticised by lawmakers for the collision of a tanker that burned and sank off the coast of China in January, killing 30 sailors.

Some 60 percent of the tanker company is managed by the Labour Ministry.

Supporters of the minister say that not all accusations were directly related to the ministry.

Transportation Minister Abbas Akhoundi, blamed for high death rates in traffic accidents, also retained his job after lawmakers voted in an afternoon session 152-92 in favour.

Akhoudi's opponents have alleged that his mismanagement contributed to the plane crash last month in southern Iran of an ATR-72, an Iranian twin-engine turboprop used for short regional flights.

All 65 people onboard were killed in what was the latest fatal aviation disaster for Iran.

Akhoudi's defenders put the blame for the crash on Iran's outdated fleet and years of Western sanctions over Tehran's contested nuclear program under which Iran was barred from buying necessary plane parts.

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