Why the election was rigged
I am going to compile the list of reasons on why this election was rigged based on reports by news agencies as well as on what is written in weblogs. I am doing so because it seems some naïve international news agencies are reporting the big win of conservatives in Iran without clearly stating that this was a sham election.
Here is the list of violations:
- Wide spread disqualification of well-known reformist candidates by the Guardian Council (GC). This disqualification included 80 members of current parliament. GC is a body with 12 members who are appointed by the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
- There is no well-known opposition figure running in this election. They have already been disqualified by being executed, jailed or exiled.
- The time for casting vote was extended by the Guardian Council from 6p.m. to 10p.m. on Friday. Based on the election law, extending the time is under jurisdiction of Interior Ministry, which was not happy with the extention.
- Mohammad Reza Khatami, a reformist, accused hardliners of printing 2 millions Iranian national IDs in Pakistan. There is no way for me to verify his accusation.
However, contarary to all the past elections, the Guardian Council announced that in this election picture ID is not required for casting a vote. This doesn't have any lawful justification since almost all IDs were replaced 9 years ago with photo IDs.
- The Guardian Council announced that the eligible population is 43 million to increase the announced percentage of participants in the election, while Interior Ministry, which is in charge of organizing the election, said that there are 46 eligible voters.
- There are reports that soldiers doing their two-year compulsory military service, have been told to take a day off but come back with a stamp in their national ID proving that they have voted.
- Tehran municipal government interfered in the election by mobilizing all its facilities, such as billboards, to help the propaganda of getting people to vote.
- A gossip was spread that youth who wouldn’t vote would not be permitted to enter in public universities. This gossip was denied by the government but nonetheless it influenced some to vote. Some people have still memories of 80s when people were barred from universities merely for not going to Friday prayers regularly.
- The flow of information was disrupted. Two major reformist newspapers were shut down last week. There was a larger degree of filtering Internet in past week.
- The seizure and closure of Mosharekat Party’s headquarter. Mosharekat is the biggest reformist party, which has vowed not to participate in election.
Please write any other violation you know in the comment section with reference or without.
Do you think election was rigged?