Iran Hopes

A Weblog on Iranian Affairs (Formerly Iran Votes 2005)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Election Update

With only five days left until the Guardian Council officially announces the name of the candidates who can run for the presidential election in June, rumours have already spread that Mostafa Moeen (backed by the so-called reformists) is among those who have been disqualified by the GC. On the other hand, Abad Garan Coalition, has withdrawn its support for Ghalibaf. While Abadgaran has not yet announced its main candidate, but it seems that its members are trying to decide between Ahmadi Nejad (Tehran Mayor) and Larijani. However, reports of a recent meeting between Ahmadi Nejad and Larijani have added to the speculation that Ahmadi Nejad will soon withdraw from running for the election in favour of Larijani. Given that Mohsen Rezaee's withdrawal is very likely and in fact very imminent, observers believe that the regime wants the election to be a contest with three candidates: Rafsanjani, Ghalibaf, and Larijani. If this turns out to be true, the Islamic Republic must be prepared to face a number of consequences. These include repercussions for the legitimacy of the president's mandate, considering that it is very unlikely that any of these three possible contenders will be able to win over fifty per cent of the overall votes (of course one must add to this the probable low turn out, should these three be the only contenders). Furthermore, Moeen's disqualification by the GC will lose the regime any chance to at least be able to pretend, as a form of gesture politics, that it is running a fair and legitimate election.

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