Sunday, October 29, 2006

Iran Election Day December 15

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to office last year I had the distinct feeling that his election came as a surprise to a good many intelligent Iranians. It was as though they woke up one morning and discovered a dark horse had somehow won the race. A good many of us Georgians had the same feeling when Lester Maddox became governor of Georgia in the Sixties.

Iran's reformers are worried about possible manipulations in the country's forthcoming elections, the news agency ISNA reported Saturday.

'We reformists are worried whether the elections would be healthy or not and whether there would manipulations on elections day and vote counting,' leading reform activist Mohammad-Reza Khatami, the younger brother of former President Mohammad Khatami, told ISNA.

The election for the Experts Assembly - a clergy body in charge of supervising the performance of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - and for the City Councils will be held on December 15.

Although none of the elections are politically very significant, but still they will be the first occasion to test the political mood in the country following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president in June last year.

Khatami said that the two bodies in charge for the elections - the senate-like Guardian Council and the interior ministry - are both close to President Ahmadinejad's political wing and therefore voiced doubts over a neutral handling of the election process.

Further down we read 'The situations is worrisome as they (conservatives) do not fool around as far as eliminating political rivals is concerned.'

Hmm. Where have we heard anything like that? Anybody ever cry "Foul!" after any US elections? Heard anything about Diebold voting machines lately?

I will be watching Iranian politics closely for the next few weeks.

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