Today, June 18, 2021, the “elections” which include selection of members to “Council of Experts,” “Midterm Islamic Consultative Assembly, “City Councils”, and the “President”, began on 7AM local. According to the person in charge of the “elections” at Interior Ministry, 59,310,307 are eligible to vote, of those 1,392,148 are first time voters. Jamal Orf named Tehran as the province with most eligible voters: 9.8million. In its latest survey which was published today, Gamaan, an independent pollster operating from outside Iran, shows that out of 39,751 Iranians residing in the country, 21.5% would “definitely participate” in the “elections.” Of the 72.6% which “definitely will not vote”, vast majority expressed their reasoning as “unfair and undemocratic” circus.
While the opening hour was 1hour earlier than other “elections” in Iran, numerous reports from across Iran showed that many poll stations delayed opening their doors for few hours. Some people stood outside in the brutal heat and amid COVID-19 epidemic and possibly next wave of the virus, especially in southern regions of the country. While officials claimed it was due to malfunction in “identification systems” but it was a trick to create the illusion of lines and “passionate participation” by a few people, creating photo opportunities and reports for state media.
Since the very early hours, flood of videos poured into the social media showing empty poll stations across the country. Islamic Republic controlled media have had no choice but use old videos and photos, close up of their reporters, and running the short lines in loops to pretend “high turnout!”
The Islamic Republic has already started the rumors about millions of ballots being cast and officials keep extending the deadline, as of this writing, it has been extended 5 times till 02:00AM. Even though the Guardian Council, body tasked with “supervising the elections,” claim all rumors are baseless and the Interior Ministry will announce the statistics tomorrow or on Sunday. The regime’s focus has been on participation numbers, because for months, ordinary citizens have run several campaigns boycotting the elections. Even Khamenei has come out begging people to show up.
On the other hand, Iranians in other countries have made it clear they would not vote in this “election,” citing regime’s brutal crackdown of dissidents, their families, poverty, corruption and PS752 downing by the IRGC. According to Gamaan, among 6,346 Iranians from 86 countries responding to whether they would participate in the June 18 “elections”, 95.9% answered NO. In contrast, 4 years ago, 54.3% of the same respondents voted for one the 2017 “presidential candidates.”
Today, they gathered outside Islamic Republic’s embassies across the globe, showing their disgust for the regime and its “selection.” Social media users have shared videos from Berlin, Frankfurt, Auckland, Sydney, London, Paris, etc. This is in Berlin where 3 of the protesters who took off their shirts were arrested by the police.
The state media continue to create hype and induce people to go to poll stations. In some areas, including suburban Tehran, there have been reports of selling votes for as low as 50,000 Tomans. In one video, Ebrahim Raisi’s campaign has reached to elderly, giving them some essential grocery and cooking needs in return for their vote!
Islamic Republic has been holding sham “elections” since its inception in 1979! They are not free, fair or democratic in any sense. There is no party but “Hezbollah”, party of God, revolutionaries and followers of the Supreme Leader! Intelligence agencies and IRGC hold monopoly of the infrastructure and the whole process. The system is very well aware of the implications of low turnout in the elections.
A “free election” requires freedom as pretense. Islamic Republic forcing prisoners to cast their votes, is exactly what is happening to the rest of the country: Islamic Republic has taken 83+ million as hostage! While there is no freedom, “election” is meaningless.
No matter what they announce, Iranians know they did not vote for the brutal regime, they have passed the system and no amount of propaganda can fool them any more. It is time for the western media and leaders to catch up with the people of Iran and stop dealing with the murderous regime.