Iran's parliament votes to keep Ahmadinejad's minister

November 1, 2011 17:13

TEHRAN - Iran's parliament voted on Tuesday against removing the economy minister of hardline President Mahoud Ahmadinejad from office over the country's biggest financial scandal.

Parliamentarians who wanted to remove Shamseddin Hosseini lambasted him for mismanagement, including laxity in monitoring the banking sector.

"141 of the 244 parliamentarians present voted against unseating the minister," said parliament speaker Ali Larijani, a political rival to Ahmadinejad. A simple majority in the 290-seat assembly is enough to remove a minister from office.

The $2.6 billion banking scandal has taken on political dimensions because some hardliners linked the main suspect in the fraud to a so-called "deviant current" of advisers, allegedly led by Ahmadinejad's chief of staff and closest ally.

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