Iran Elections Thread

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Iran Elections Thread

Post by Surlethe » 2009-06-12 11:15am

BBC
There has been record turnout for Iran's closely-fought election as incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seeks a second term in office.

"Voter turnout has been unprecedented," election commission chief Kamran Daneshjoo said, as long queues were reported at polling stations.

Polling has been extended by two hours to 2000 local time (1530 GMT).

Mr Ahmadinejad faces a strong challenge from former PM Mir Hossein Mousavi in a campaign dominated by the economy.

The election is being watched closely around the world for signs of a possible shift in Tehran's attitude.

If no candidate gets 50% in the first round, the two front-runners will face a run-off vote.

There has been a surge of interest recently in Iran's presidential election, with unprecedented live television debates between the candidates and rallies attended by thousands.

State-run Irna TV said more than five million people cast their vote in the first four hours of voting.

The country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and both the leading candidates voted early in the day, calling on Iranians to exercise their right to choose the country's next president.

"I recommend them to just vote based on their own views and decisions," Ayatollah Khamenei said as he voted.

"God willing, the best and the most deserving person will be elected as the head of the executive body for a four-year period."

Mr Ahmadinejad thanked the people of Iran "for their goodness, for their greatness, for their selflessness, their sacrifices, and for their forgiveness".

Mr Mousavi said simply: "God willing, with the nationwide participation of the public, we will see better and more beautiful days."

Youth enthusiastic

Four candidates are contesting the election, with Mohsen Razai and Mehdi Karroubi trailing the two main contenders.

In his final TV appearance before the election, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused his opponents of conspiring with Israelis to falsify documents and graphs to discredit him.

His rivals boycotted the chance to appear on TV with him, after apparently not being offered equal airtime.

The result will be watched closely outside Iran - in the US, Israel, and European capitals - for any hint of a possible shift in the country's attitude to the rest of the world, BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says.

The timing of the election is also crucial, as the US push for a new policy of engagement with Tehran cannot really get going until the outcome of the election is clear, our correspondent adds.

The live TV debates unleashed enthusiasm among the country's young population.

BBC Iranian affairs analyst Sadeq Saba says most of them appear to be supporting the moderate candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Varied support

President Ahmadinejad draws support mainly from the urban poor and rural areas, while his rivals have huge support among the middle classes and the educated urban population.

Iranian women have also shown great interest in the election and it appears many of them will be voting for the moderate candidates who have promised them more social freedoms, our analyst says.

The votes in regions with national and religious minorities are also important, as they normally vote for reformist candidates.

Mr Mousavi is an ethnic Azeri speaker and is expected to do well in his province, as is Mahdi Karrubi in his native Lorestan province.

Iran is ruled under a system known as Velayat-e Faqih, or "Rule by the Supreme Jurist", who is currently Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It was adopted by an overwhelming majority in 1979 following the Islamic revolution which overthrew the autocratic Western-backed Shah.

But the constitution also stipulates that the people are the source of power and the country holds phased presidential and parliamentary elections every four years.

All candidates are vetted by the powerful conservative-controlled Guardian Council, which also has the power to veto legislation it deems inconsistent with revolutionary principles.
Just at a glance, Karroubi sounds like the best candidate, but Mousavi has a better chance of winning. I've been listening to the BBC's coverage, and Iran sounds like a decent country that just happens to be ruled by reactionary Islamic idiots; I really want relations with them to thaw, and for them to reform the theocratic power structure.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-06-12 04:51pm

Surlethe wrote: Just at a glance, Karroubi sounds like the best candidate, but Mousavi has a better chance of winning. I've been listening to the BBC's coverage, and Iran sounds like a decent country that just happens to be ruled by reactionary Islamic idiots; I really want relations with them to thaw, and for them to reform the theocratic power structure.
Won't happen. The president before Ahmadinejad (Khatami) was elected on a openly reformist package and went about trying to reform the entire system and was promptly sidelined and denuded of power. Iran is a really decent country underneath, but the Mullahs control all the real political power and will allow as much, or as little, reform as they deem necessary. That being said, there are a lot of signs that they absolutely hate Ahmadinejad's guts, or at best view him as an extreme, but sometimes useful, nuisance who they'd like to be rid of. Which is why Mousavi has been doing so well.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-06-12 09:22pm

Stratfor says that both Mousavi and Ahmadinejad have declared victory. Also it says that many of the rural ballots have come in and Ahmadinejad is in the lead there by over 60%. However, that leaves ~60-80% of the vote left to be counted and the cities (especially Tehran, which has hated Ahmadinejad since day one) are much more pro-Mousavi than the country side, which has received oodles and oodles of spending from Ahmadinejad.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Nieztchean Uber-Amoeba » 2009-06-12 10:06pm

All current data has suggested that the more people end up voting in this election, the better Mousavi's chances are. Record-setting voting definitely gives him an edge. I for one am rooting for him - between this and the most recent Lebanese election it will give American foreign policy in the Middle East a whole boatload of options and prestige, given the Speech at Cairo.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by ray245 » 2009-06-12 10:37pm

Nieztchean Uber-Amoeba wrote:All current data has suggested that the more people end up voting in this election, the better Mousavi's chances are. Record-setting voting definitely gives him an edge. I for one am rooting for him - between this and the most recent Lebanese election it will give American foreign policy in the Middle East a whole boatload of options and prestige, given the Speech at Cairo.
Didn't Iran block the speech?
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Prannon » 2009-06-12 10:57pm

Complications ahead.
Ahmadinejad 'leads in Iran election'

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a substantial lead in Iran's presidential election with about 77% of votes counted, officials say.

Mr Ahmadinejad so far has 65% of the vote and claimed victory in an election that has drawn a large turnout.

However his leading rival, reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, said earlier that he had won by a substantial margin.

Mr Mousavi also complained of a number of voting irregularities.

He said there had been a shortage of ballot papers and millions of people had been denied the right to vote.

His election monitors were not allowed enough access to polling stations, he added, saying he would deal seriously with any fraud.

"[We] are waiting for the counting of votes to officially end and explanations of these irregularities to be given," Mr Mousavi said.

"We expect to celebrate with people soon. We hope that authorities in charge do their work in this regard."

A candidate must secure 50% in the first round to avoid a run-off vote.

Surge of interest

Electoral commission officials said that Mr Ahmadinejad so far had gained around two-thirds of the votes.

State news agency Irna has declared Mr Ahmadinejad the "definite winner".

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says most of the early votes counted came from rural areas, where Mr Ahmadinejad is considered to be stronger.

The early rival declarations of victory could be a case of the two candidates attempting to stake their claims before the real arguments begin, he says.

There had been a surge of interest in
with unprecedented live television debates between the candidates and rallies attended by thousands.

There were long queues of voters at polling stations, with officials predicting an "unprecedented" turnout as they extended voting hours by several hours to accommodate the queues on Friday.

Turnout has been unofficially estimated at 70-75%.

Four candidates contested the election, with Mohsen Razai and Mehdi Karroubi trailing the two main contenders.

The result will be watched closely outside Iran - in the US, Israel, and European capitals - for any hint of a possible shift in the country's attitude to the rest of the world, BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says.

The timing of the election is also crucial, as the US push for a new policy of engagement with Tehran cannot really get going until the outcome of the election is clear, our correspondent adds.

US President Barack Obama said as the polling drew to a close that he was "excited" by the robust debate taking place in the country.
From the way the press presented this election in the past few weeks, I was expecting the results to be a lot closer. I'm not sure if there are any international election monitors in Iran either, so it's not like we could get some reliable data on whether there were irregularities or not. I'd rather not blindly assume that there were, but I'm not holding my breath on the chance that there weren't. Thoughts?

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Eframepilot » 2009-06-13 12:42am

I'm thinking massive fraud by the election officials, to the point of basically ignoring the real count and announcing their own made-up figures. There's just no way that Ahmadinejad could have won a landslide victory.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Nieztchean Uber-Amoeba » 2009-06-13 01:07am

Yeah, from the get-go there were irregulaties and Ahmadinejad is not above fighting the Chicago Way when he's threatened. The current tallies indicate what appears to be systemic fraud throughout the country, the the point that I myself am rather shocked, given the Supreme Leader and clergy's neutrality and generally clean Iranian society. I mean, it's not impossible for things to be this rigged, but it's quite startling given most previous Western expectations.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Justforfun000 » 2009-06-13 02:08am

Hmmm....I was actually under the light impression that the religious mullahs behind the scenes were kind of pushing for them moderate to get in...It's not that their religious view will soften per se, but obviously Iran has been "allowed" to become a lot more modern in many respects than other middle eastern countries so they aren't exactly anti-progressive morons..

I wonder if the election process could have been tampered with by presidential forces but after this possible scandal, the mullahs would come forward and seize control of this area and watch it personally in the future or dare I hope...another rematch for an election...
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by The Original Nex » 2009-06-13 09:17am

Prannon wrote:
From the way the press presented this election in the past few weeks, I was expecting the results to be a lot closer. I'm not sure if there are any international election monitors in Iran either, so it's not like we could get some reliable data on whether there were irregularities or not. I'd rather not blindly assume that there were, but I'm not holding my breath on the chance that there weren't. Thoughts?
Given that turnout was projected to be near 80% of the electorate, and turnout was VERY high among Mousavi supporters, the supposed 2:1 Ahmedinejad landslide doesn't seem to add up with the voting demographics or the pre-election analysis at all. There's enough reason to assume massive fraud without blindly assuming it.

This could get very ugly.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Prannon » 2009-06-13 09:20am

Additional News
Ahmadinejad wins Iran presidential election

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been re-elected as president of Iran in a resounding victory, the interior minister says.

He won some 62.6% of the vote in an election marked by a turnout of 85%, official figures show.

Reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi has also claimed victory, calling the result a "dangerous charade", as backers vowed to appeal for a re-run.

But Iran's Supreme Leader congratulated Mr Ahmadinejad on his win, and urged his rivals against "provocations".

In a statement, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the high turnout and described the count as a huge success and called for calm in the aftermath of the result.

IRANIAN ELECTION
# Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: 62.6%
# Mir Hossein Mousavi: 33.8%
# Turnout: 85% Source: Interior ministry

"Other honourable candidates must refrain from any kind of provocative and distrustful words or deeds," the ayatollah said.

On the streets of Tehran, police have sealed off Mr Mousavi's campaign HQ, preventing his supporters from holding a news conference.

There have been reports of police deploying on the streets of Tehran and beating people with truncheons as small groups gather to protest.

One opposition newspaper has been closed down and BBC websites also appear to have been blocked by the Iranian authorities.

Mr Mousavi was hoping to prevent Mr Ahmadinejad winning more than 50% of the vote, in order to force a run-off election.

However, Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli said his share of the vote was just under 34%.

Hours earlier, the state news agency Irna declared Mr Ahmadinejad the "definite winner", and his campaign manager was quoted as saying "any doubts cast on this victory will be treated as a joke by the public".

Danger of 'tyranny'

Mr Mousavi issued a statement shortly after 1300 local time (0930 GMT) on Saturday, after the scale of the hard-line president's victory became clear.

The former prime minister dismissed the election result as deeply flawed.

"I personally strongly protest the many obvious violations and I'm warning I will not surrender to this dangerous charade," the Reuters news agency reported him as saying. "The result of such performance by some officials will jeopardise the pillars of the Islamic Republic and will establish tyranny."

Mr Mousavi has already said there was a shortage of ballot papers and alleged that millions of people had been denied the right to vote.

His election monitors were not allowed enough access to polling stations, he added, saying he would deal seriously with any irregularities.

The head of the Committee to Protect the People's Votes, a group set up by all three opposition candidates, said the group would not accept the result, alleging fraud.

They have asked Iran's Guardian Council - a powerful body controlled by conservative clerics - to cancel the results and re-run the elections. A second opposition candidate, Mehdi Karroubi, declared the results "illegitimate and unacceptable".

The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Tehran, says the result has been greeted with surprise and with deep scepticism by many Iranians.

The figures, if they are to be believed, show Mr Ahmadinejad winning strongly even in the heartland of Mr Mousavi, the main opposition contender.

The scale of Mr Ahmadinejad's win means that many people who voted for a reformist candidate in the previous presidential election four years ago have apparently switched their votes to Mr Ahmadinejad, he adds.

Police presence

Supporters of Mr Ahmadinejad took to the streets on Friday night as their candidate declared his own victory.

By Saturday morning, with the opposition angry at the formal results, police in Tehran moved to prevent protests even though there were few signs of organised dissent.

There was heavy security around Mr Mousavi's campaign headquarters and reports that at least one rally for Mr Mousavi was broken up by police.

The AFP news agency said police dispersed opposition supporters on Saturday morning, quoting a senior police official as saying: "The time of dancing and shouting is over."

One opposition supporter who gave her name as Shirin, told the BBC she still had confidence Mr Mousavi would become president.

"But he advised us, the supporters, not to do anything harsh or trying to... clash with Ahmadinejad's supporters," she said.

Our correspondent says the reaction of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will be extremely important.

BBC Iranian affairs analyst Sadeq Saba says the result means that hope for peaceful reform in Iran may die for a long time.
All emphasis mine. I'm calling shenanigans on this election. What we can accept as truth from this article is that the Tehran police has deliberately made it difficult for the opposition to fight the results of this election. The police typically has a direct line of power to the Chief Executive. The Interior Ministry says that Mousavi won only 34% of the vote, but again, that's part of the executive.

Probably the most damning thing though is that the results have Ahmadenijad winning votes who would have voted for the reformist candidate in the last election. That is a joke and a near impossibility. Ahmadenijad has made no friends among the reformers since he took office. The BBC had been expecting Mousavi to do well there since candidates traditionally do well in their home provinces, but the results show Ahmadenijad winning there?

What sucks most is that the Surpreme Leader has bestowed his blessings on the results, so likely nothing is going to be done about this election. The President will piss on the opposition, and they'll cry and scream for the Guardian Council to do something, and they won't because they daren't contradict Khamenei.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by ray245 » 2009-06-13 09:42am

Wonder if Khamenei will get himself screwed over in the end when people has no place to vent their frustration and ends up with a revolution in his hands.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Chris OFarrell » 2009-06-13 10:04am

The problem is that the hardliner clerics have VERY carefully set up the various branches of the military and security forces to ensure that there is almost no chance of a revolution taking place against them, having ultra-paranoid levels of control and security over the people with the weapons, to make sure that they will never be turned against THEM.

This whole thing is complete BS. I'm surprised they were this downright open about fucking over the people like they were, I thought the Hardliners would at least 'make' it close enough that there would be a second round needed, which Ahmadinejad would just get over the line with. This is very...blatant. And either the reformists will be driven back again, with all the 'ringleaders' who have been speaking out over the last months quietly vanishing over the next months, or, there will be a few weeks of instability which will be brutally put down.

But I'm betting on the former.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by MarshalPurnell » 2009-06-13 02:03pm

It could be a legitimate upset victory. Ahmadinejahd is ridiculously popular in the rural provinces, and among the poorest sections of Iranian society. We have tended to assume that a record turnout would favor the reformers but the demographics may have dictated other directions depending on just who wasn't voting in previous elections. The most passionate supporters of reform, young university students, the nascent middle class, liberals and and so on probably had high turnout in all previous elections so there may simply not have been many more passionate reforms supporters to mobilize. The Western news agencies based out of Tehran would undoubtedly have its main contacts with the Iranian population among those most Westernized sectors bitterly opposed to Ahmadinejahd, which led to a case of tunnel vision on their part and on the part of independent pollers based in the cities. Meanwhile Ahmadinejahd does have the support of the establishment which means the wealth and influence needed to bring in more apathetic sectors of the electorate who will vote not based on foreign policy or grand ideals, but rather on Ahmadinejahd's image as an incorruptible appealing to nostalgia for the purity of the Islamic Revolution and his previous record of providing their classes favors and subsidies the reformers would threaten.

That said it would be surprising if there were no voter fraud, especially in Tehran, but it may not be on African-scale ballot stuffing so much as Chicago style multiple-voting and vote buying. Lots of potential for very shady tactics in the rural areas to inflate Ahmadinejahd's vote total, like leaning on local notables to turn out enormous margins and so on. But it's something that would be a lot more subtle than just throwing out the real results and substituting numbers made up on the spot, or stuffing ballot boxes with fake votes, and would require significant investigation that will not happen to prove. For that matter validating my initial hypothesis that he could have had enough support to legitimately win would require the sort of demographic and polling research that isn't going to happen either.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by EarthScorpion » 2009-06-13 03:47pm

MarshalPurnell wrote:It could be a legitimate upset victory. Ahmadinejahd is ridiculously popular in the rural provinces, and among the poorest sections of Iranian society. We have tended to assume that a record turnout would favor the reformers but the demographics may have dictated other directions depending on just who wasn't voting in previous elections.
No. Look at the graph of votes counted for each candidate.

Image

An R^2 of 0.998 for that line. There is no way that is natural.

From Al Jazeera;

Mousavi sees election hopes dashed
By Teymoor Nabili in Tehran


By three am local time on Saturday, it was clear that the hopes of Iran's green army, and the anticipation of the international media, had been thoroughly dashed.

What was not clear was quite what had happened in those few hours between the close of voting and the announcement of the initial results, how an enormous wave of sentiment had vanished so completely when faced with the ballot box.

Was it just the failing of the world's press, allowing themselves to become unwitting victim to a clever marketing campaign or allowing itself to be ruled by its own prejudices and preferences?

Or was something else at work?

A walk through the timeline of events might shed some light.

High turnout

From the opening of the polling stations on Friday morning, the length of the queues suggested something unusual was under way.

Opinions having long gelled around the proposition that high turnout equals reformist victory, the mood among journalists gathering at the interior ministry - roads blocked, access restricted, riot police in evidence - was of anticipation and bemusement.

Could it be that, yet again, an outside candidate had come from behind to win in the first round?

Word was circulating that Mir Hossein Mousavi, the main reformist challenger, would be giving a press conference late on Friday night when, at 11pm [18:30 GMT], the ministry press room was told to expect Kamran Daneshjou, the elections chief.

Few people anticipated much more than general background information, and perhaps some hints as to the progress of the count; it was assumed to be far too early for any definitive results.

Conflicting claims


Daneshjou failed to appear. Instead, a buzz spread around the room. The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) had a new lead story: Ahmadinejad was streaking ahead in the vote in the countryside.

IRNA is a government controlled agency, and some of the local media were sceptical of the story.

But the pro-Ahmadinejad camp was lifted in particular by the claim that the city of Rafsanjan, home town of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president, had voted 90 per cent in favour of Ahmadinejad.

They were relishing the symbolism of such a heavy rejection of the arch foe.

Moments later word came through that Mousavi had held a news conference to declare outright victory.

A senior member of his campaign told me that their election monitors at polling stations were certain that the trend strongly favoured their candidate.

Moments later, at 11.50pm [19:20 GMT], Daneshjou appeared.

We were told there would be no questions. The counting so far, he said, involved 8,000 ballot boxes, some five million votes, and the returns showed Ahmadinejad with 69 per cent of the vote and challenger Mousavi with less than 30 per cent.

Vote recount

The pattern had been established. As in US presidential elections, it would be the television stations and news wires that led with figures that would only later be confirmed by the interior ministry.

Mousavi's claim of victory was quickly rejected by the interior ministry [Reuters]
The state-run TV station is regarded as a reliable reflection of official numbers, and the news from sources inside was that they were close to declaring outright victory for Ahmadinejad.

At 12.20am [19:50 GMT], Daneshjou had an update.

A further 8,000 boxes had been counted in the past 30 minutes, and the president was still leading with almost 69 per cent of the vote.

At this point, one of the more alert journalists pointed out that the initial announcement had spoken of "baazshomari" - recounting.

The numbers we were hearing were not a running tally, but a reconfirmation of what was an already established result.

Indeed, not long after, the Ahmadinejad camp not only declared outright victory, but framed its claims in historic terms: this victory erased the record turnout that had swept Mohammad Khatami, the previous reformer, to power in 1997, and confirmed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a principalist, as the most popular leader in the history of the Islamic Republic.

Breakdown of the vote in individual districts was still patchy, but there were a few results that raised eyebrows.

Incumbent victorious

Ahmadinejad had apparently taken the northwestern city of Tabriz with some ease.

Tabriz is the heart of East Azerbaijan, and Azeris are among the tightest ethnic groups in the country, unfailingly voting along ethnic lines.

In the 2005 presidential election, Mohsen Mehralizadeh was a largely unknown and wholly unsuccessful candidate. He came in seventh and last, and yet he still won the Azeri vote in the Azerbaijani provinces. Mir Hossein Mousavi is an Azeri from Tabriz.


Elsewhere, Mehdi Karroubi failed to take his home state of Lorestan; in Khuzestan, Mohsen Rezai, a local scion, was expecting at least two million votes. His total for the entire country has failed to breach one million.

And with each updated count, Ahmadinjad's lead did not waver from a very stable range of 66-69 per cent, irrespective of which districts were reporting.

After 3am [22:30 GMT], the interior ministry went quiet for the night. Out on the streets, some groups of youths were driving the streets in celebration. But not 69 per cent of them.
The bolded bit is the killer. Voting patterns just don't work like that. You don't get such a flat lack of deviation in natural voting patterns, especially when you have voting for your own ethnic group in a diverse country like Iran.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by CJvR » 2009-06-13 04:18pm

Looks a bit like a last minute "Ooops! Cant have that!" reaction from the Ayatollahs.
A clever planned fraud would have Amadjihadii lead big in his strongholds and then let the opposition slowly gain ground but not quite make it at the end of the day.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by xerex » 2009-06-13 04:33pm

if a guy wins by 63% you'd expect there to be widespead celebrations.

Instead iranians are surprised and shocked, wondering where did those votes come from ?

if Mousavi won big in the cities but got creamed in the countryside..okay probable, even likely.......but ahmedinejad winning EVERYWHERE by virtually the same margin is a major wtf.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by MarshalPurnell » 2009-06-13 04:36pm

I didn't want to jump the gun and say "the numbers have to be made up" but the lack of spread in the voter margins by precinct is pretty damning.
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Straha
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-06-13 04:45pm

I'm honestly a little shocked. Iran has always been a little funny when it came to vote counts, but they've never actually had this level of vote rigging. Case in point:

A number of years ago Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president of Iran and one of its most powerful behind-the-scenes figures, was running for a seat in the Majlis representing Tehran. Due to the quirks of the Iranian voting system Tehranis vote a whole bloc of candidates and the top 26 make it in to represent them. Anyway, Rafsanjani and his number 2 guy were running for office and when the results were announced by the proper government ministry Rafsanjani came in 26th and his deputy 18th. They both got seats, but this would have been a huge embarrassment to Rafsanjani in that not only did he come in dead last of the winners but he was beaten by his number two guy. A couple hours later the ministry declared those were only the "preliminary results" and recalled all the vote results. Then, some time later, they released the figures again. This time Rafsanjani came in 10th, and his deputy somewhere in the midteens. The list of winners was exactly the same, but some people had just traded spots on it. That was always the Iranian approach to vote rigging, until now. "We wont fuck with the results, but we will massage the to make things look good."

Also, another irregularity for this election: IIRC, during the last election the Ministries took their sweet sweet time counting votes before they announced the results. This time the results were announced in under 24 hours. That doesn't make sense to me.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by EmperorChrostas the Cruel » 2009-06-13 07:20pm

Well, listening to a former AP reporter and long time resident of Iran, he claimed that about 20% of the Iranian voting public is illiterate. Unlike American and other western countries there is no party symbol on the ballot. (Donkey Elephant) The voter goes into the booth, with a "helper" provided by the state. (Revolutionary Guard) The voter tells the helper who they want to vote for, and the helper writes it in. The voter has NO way to know WHO they just voted for.
So 20% of the vote automaticly goes to who the Revolutionary Guard (Mullahs) wants it to. Still something stinks worse than that. Or does it? A tie could be spun into a 70/30 with that method alone.
Hmmmmmm.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-06-13 07:50pm

EmperorChrostas the Cruel wrote: So 20% of the vote automaticly goes to who the Revolutionary Guard (Mullahs) wants it to.
Bit of an over simplification. A lot of powerful Mullahs have been dropping hints that they don't like Ahmadinejad and would be glad to see him go. The Revolutionary Guard, on the other hand, rather like Ahmadinejad and would be very remiss if he just disappeared on them. The Guards and the Mullahs aren't quite as peachy keen on each other as some commentators would like believe, and the only reason why they stick together as close as they do is that A.) The Mullahs would be out of power without the Guards, B.) The Guard get a lot of money and influence by going with the Mullahs and C.) The Guards aren't too sure how they'd end up in a non-revolutionary Iran.

That being said, I don't think that illiterate voters had that much of an influence on the election. If the predictions regarding the demography/economic status of voters are even near accurate, most of them would have ended up voting for Ahmadinejad anyway. Leaving a lot more systematic fraud out there unaccounted for.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Koolaidkirby » 2009-06-13 07:56pm

this just in, they just placed mousavi under house arrest.
One the The Daily Kos’ informers from the ground reported earlier today that Mousavi, the presidential candidate that run against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran may be under house arrest. According to the Daily Kos’ site:

Pyknet: Mousavi has been place under house arrest. He was arrested on his way to Khamenei’s house. All communication has been shut off. Khamenei has issued a statement claiming that HE that he is leading this coup to SAVE the Islamic Government

A committee of respected Ayatollahs (the spiritual fighters) have requested that the election be invalidated for the purpose of restoring the people’s trust in the Islamic Republic. We request the people to stay calm and not to provoke the government agents.

Civil Unrest

Fires have been set in many parts of the city. The smell of smoke has reached as far Marzdaran. Police are confiscating cameras from people to stop them from sending images outside of Iran. People are using stones to battle the riot police. The Tehranbureau is reporting that as many as 100 people have been killed on the streets of Tehran due to clashes with the police. The AP is also reporting that there are injured Iranians, but didn’t post how many.

The LA Times is reporting major civil unrest in Tehran:

Tehran erupted in unrest today as results for the Iranian presidential election pitting incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against leading reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi and two other rivals were announced. Ahmadinejad won big amid record turnout and allegations of widespread voter fraud.

Enraged Mousavi supporters battled police for hours, and it remained unclear whether the unrest would stop anytime soon.

According to AFP/France 24:

Angry supporters of Iran’s defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi pelted baton-wielding police and set rubbish bins on fire on Saturday in protest at the vote results.

A furious mob shouting “Down with the dictator!” threw stones at the police who hit back with sticks to try to disperse demonstrators gathered around central Tehran’s Vanak Square, an AFP correspondent said.

Spotty Communication

Communication with Iran has been spotty or totally disconnected in many parts of the country, including telephone and Internet. Facebook accounts from people inside Iran have been blocked.

A Call To Remain Calm

Leaders in Mousavi’s party are calling on Iranians to calm down, according to Israel News. Nothing was mentioned about Mousavi’s arrest aside from DK’s earlier reports.
too early to hope they're going to try to overthrow the government again?
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-06-13 08:03pm

Koolaidkirby wrote:
too early to hope they're going to try to overthrow the government again?
That would be a bad thing. Blood in the streets, people dead, and no real change bad thing.


Much better for them to call a recount and suddenly find massive voting fraud, release numbers that make it look like either A. Ahmadinejad won without need for a run-off, but only barely, or B. That they need a run-off between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. Hopefully they'll go the second route.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by hongi » 2009-06-13 11:06pm

this just in, they just placed mousavi under house arrest.
I'm hearing nothing about this from mainstream sources. Iran's media crackdown is extraordinarily effective or...?

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by wautd » 2009-06-14 05:18am


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