Iran Hopes

A Weblog on Iranian Affairs (Formerly Iran Votes 2005)

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Update (4) -Saturday 1pm Tehran time

Iranian state news agencies and Kayhan claim that more than 30 million people have casted their votes. I do not want to dismiss this claim readily but I believe that it must be dealt with extreme caution. Let's not forget that the regime wanted to use this election to display its popularity. And Khatami and his Ministry of Interior are part of this regime. They would do anything to save a reputation for the regime even if it takes lying to their own people. There is no doubt that those who had advocated a boycott on this election, have been stunned and disappointed by yesterday turn-out. However, from what I have seen in Tehran and the news I have got from people elsewhere, it can be said that yesterday turn out was much lower than the the 1997 election, and thus the real number seems to be much lower than the alleged 30 million.
Ahmadi Nejad is reportedly among the top three at present. If people have chosen him as their favourite president, no one has the right to dispute why they have done so, although it would be necessary to investigate why people had shifted from a man like Khatami to someone like Ahmadi Nejad - with the kind of background and personality that he has and we all know about it. However, there are reports that in some poll stations, Sepah and its mitilias (Basijis) overtly interfered in the voting process by writing Ahmadi Nejad's name for those who were unable to write or those who were still undecided as to whose name they were going to put in their vote. Obviously one of the contenders - Karoubi - has been informed of this intereference and will hold a press conference soon to give more details on it.
Furthermore, this was Kayahan's headline this morning: "Rafsanjani in the first rank, Ahmadi Nejad second". How on earth could Kayhan know that Ahmadi Nejad was second at 7 o'clock in the morning (the time when it gets published and distributed), while first official results were only announced at 8am? Besides, Ahmadi Nejad has not yet come up higher than the third (not the second) place. So it is not known where Kayhan had got its 'results' from. Also, one unprecedented thing that has happened is that the Guardian Council is now announcing its own version of results!!!, whereas the law says the Ministry of Interior is the sole body in charge of announcing election result. What a mess! That's all that I can say for now.

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