Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Editorial 'Electoral Fraud in Iran' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 June 2009 issue






      Ahmadinejad with ‘V’ smile         Mousavi supporters on streets                          Mousavi

In what may be called the biggest crisis in Iran since the days of Islamic Revolution in 1979, lakhs of people have come out into the streets in Teheran to protest against the massive electoral frauds behind the so-called landslide victory of the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the recent presidential election held there. Curiously nobody doubts the existence of frauds and rigging in the elections, but only as to how far such ‘irregularities’ might have influenced the outcome of the election. Though Ahmadinejad’s progressive challenger Hossein Mousavi had a definite edge over his rival in Tehran and many other urban areas of Iran, it was also a foregone conclusion that in the predominantly rural areas the appeal of the incumbent President was and is irresistible. So much so that a Washington Post opinion poll, conducted three weeks before the voting, had predicted the President to win by 2:1 margin which is even slightly higher than the now announced margin and so there is a possibility that the outcome after all reflected the popular will in the end. However, Ahamadinejad’s  reelection is seen as a victory of the religious fundamentalist, dictatorial forces and all democratic, secular and progressive forces from the centre to the extreme left are now jumping into the movement in support of Mousavi, reputed to be ‘honest, humble and a supporter of masses’ and was a former premier for about nine years. Though there may not be any radical change in the foreign or especially nuclear policies of Iran whoever gets elected, Mousavi is expected to bring home a new breeze of democracy and good governance. The Iranian election system seems to be very defective with no proper polling booths and the voting almost direct and especially the rural voters could be duped easily. And the counting seems to have been done at incredible speed. Now that even the Guardian Council of religious heads has agreed to probe into the rigging complaints, can we hope for some salutary developments there or would favouritism and Islamic reaction raise their ugly head and exacerbate the popular outrage still further? §§§

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