Tehran, 9 Jan. (AKI) - Iranian reformist lawmakers have started collecting signatures in Parliament to demand the impeachment of the country's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So far, 38 signatures have been collected out of the 72 required to formally summon Ahmadinejad and request his impeachment. Noureddin Pirmouzen, a deputy with the reformist minority, says it is nonetheless "positive to question" the head of the executive branch.
"Many actions of the current government and of president Ahmadinejad have led the country to an extremely worrying political and economic situation," Pirmouzen told the Iranian news website Aftab.
Referring to a resolution of the UN Security Council unanimously approved on 23 December which imposes sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear programme, the MP said "it is the last straw which has made Iranians loose their patience." The international community fears Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons and has repeatedly asked the government to halt sensitive nuclear work - a demand ignored by Tehran which claims its programme is solely for civilian use.
"Parliament cannot sit still in front of the current situation and watch as the economy worsens because of the government's inability," he added.
Issa Saharkhiz, editor and political analyst, told Adnkronos International (AKI) that "Ahmadinejad's golden era is over."
"I don't think Ahmadinejad will leave the presidency before his mandate expires but I am also convinced he will not succeed in winning a second term," added Saharkhiz. "Many factions and personalities who supported Ahmadinejad's candidature at the 2005 presidential elections have already abandoned him and don't spare criticism, even harsh and direct, of the president and his government."
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president after an overwhelming victory in June 2005 but his then contender, Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, and moderate conservative rivals of the president did far better than Ahmadinejad's allies in December polls to elect local councils and the powerful watchdog, the Assembly of Experts.