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July 17, 2003

Holding them responsible
Babak Seradjeh  [info|posts]

I was watching a TV programme called `Struggle for Democracy' on The i Channel. It was an old one, I guess made in the late 80's, and was mostly about the state of democracy in Zimbabwe. In particular it had a clip of Robert Mugabe, where he was saying he envisioned a democracy in which people were free. Zimbabwe has a one-party system with Mugabe at its head under various names and titles for the past 23 years. It very much resembled the promises made before the end of monarchy on 11 February 1979 and early after by Ayatollah Khomeini of a democratic state `just like what [the french] have in France.' In Zimbabwe, Mugabe evaded the responsibility by creating a single-party rule. I wonder how they managed to evade the promises in Iran. The constituion allows for a multitude of parties, but then makes it hardly ever so important or effective by putting in other unelected councils and persons holding on the power so much that it loses all applicability. How did this come about without anyone being held responsible? At the moment, it seems to me that it was simply not meant from the beginning to attain the promised French-like democracy and everyone knew it, too.

mehdi at July 18, 2003 12:17 AM [permalink]:

It should be said that even at 1979, Khomeini had already written his book of "Velayat Faghih." But people chose to ignore Khomeini's written doctorine and only listened to his ambigious words.

Kaveh at July 18, 2003 01:44 AM [permalink]:

It should also be said that many people happily voted for the amendment to the constitution that institutionalized the dominating rule of the leader as of Khomeini in his successors. This idea was brought forward by people who were actually expecting Montazeri after him, the so called "left spectrum". How fooled they found themselves afterwards.

amiroot at July 18, 2003 05:32 PM [permalink]:

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elnaz alipour at July 20, 2003 12:02 PM [permalink]:

I think there are two faces to it. One is cultural and the other is legal. on the cultural side the survival of the Islamic Republic was in big parts due to the early foreign war. The very fact that the country was under foreign attack helped them get away with the "cultural revolution" and imprisoning everyone with "other" political views.
on the legal side, the fact that constitutional amendments, especially the first constitution, do have an ambiguous form helped a lot, for example consider the ones regarding parties.The limitations, for an external viewer, don't seem to exclude so many groups but the fact that there are any limitations keeps the way open to the interpretations and hence the one party rule.