Not a choice, but an agreement

Iran: khamenei, the winner of the marmots

Two-thirds of the votes cast have been paid and all two major political camps in iran are claiming a "victory": the conservatives the "factual victory", because they won the majority of the votes and the reformers did not win the "moral election victory", because the majority did not vote at all and followed their call for boycott.

Not an election, but an appointment

But clearly the "moral victory" the reformer does not. The only indisputable fact is that fewer iranians voted this time than in the last parliamentary elections four years ago. While the ministry of the interior – in the hands of the reformers – claims a 43.3 percent turnout (compared to 67.2 percent in 2000), the figure given by the state media – under the control of the conservatives – is 60 percent, so close to the figure for the last election that it is possible to speak of a "no" vote "moral victory" the reformers cannot be spoken of. The minister of information accordingly hailed the "enthusiastic participation".

It is easy to see that the conservatives had a lot at stake: from the non-admission of more than 2,500 candidates, mostly from the reformist camp, by the council of guardians to the sharp rhetoric in the days before and after the election. There was a lot of drum-beating, especially against the united states.

Every vote cast should be "a bullet in the heart of bush", jannati, chairman of the council of guardians, preached on election day. A lively turnout in the elections was to "conspiracy" be punished. The election was "religious duty" admonished the "supreme leader" ayatollah khamenei, who in a televised address the following day described the election victory as nothing less than a victory over "the united states, zionism and the enemies of the iranian nation" wants to see.

The "satan" the growing foreign prere on iran because of its obscure nuclear policy: a victory for the conservatives was absolutely necessary as a back-up for the power elite around the mullahs in order to ensure stable relations "sensitive time in the middle east" the opinion of western observers.

The de facto winner in this parliamentary election is clear: khamenei, with his subordinate council of guardians, demonstrated how rough his power really is, yet questions remain as to whether the election was really so "fair and credible" was, as claimed by khamenei in his victory speech.

This is in contrast to the "rumors" that whole truckloads of fake identity papers were brought into the constituencies in order to falsify the numbers of votes cast. Conspiracy? At the very least, the reports collected in a blog about visits to polling stations differ drastically from the portrayal in the official media.

The blog set up especially for the election – once again initiated by the industrious iranian blogger in exile hossein derakhshan (cf. The prank of the guards) shows one thing above all: the youth largely stayed away from the election and some iranians went to vote because they got a stamp in their ids for it; the lack of this stamp could get them into trouble, according to the suddeutsche zeitung this weekend.

From one "moral victory" for the reformers among the majority of the iranian people, the youth, can be no question.

The reform movement has reached an impasse within the regime. It will take time for civil organizations to form to oppose the regime…Wir denken, dass wir starker werden. The student movement is not a party or a newspaper that can be kept or banned.

Sadjat ghoroghi, student leader.

This was not an election in the sense of a competition, but an agreement between khamenei and people he wants in parliament, derakhshan concludes.

Incidentally, there was no woman among the conservative candidates.

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