Tuesday, 21 September, 2021


Iran Announces Low Poll Turnout, Blames Coronavirus 'Propaganda'

Anti-Western hardliners dominate Iranian elections Voters register to cast their vote in Iran. (AP
Bennie Garza | 26 February, 2020, 11:20

Iranians voted for a new parliament Friday, with the disqualification of more than 7,000 potential candidates, a lot of them reformists and moderates, raising the possibility of lower-than-usual turnout.

Khamenei manipulated the vote so that "hardliners", the term used for radical Islamists who openly support the violence of the Iranian Revolution, won a "decisive" vote against the "reformers" who believe the same things as the "hardliners", but use softer language.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday Iran's enemies tried to put people off voting in Friday's parliamentary election by exaggerating the threat of the new coronavirus but that participation had been good.

In the latest challenge to Khamenei, Iran announced the detection of 28 cases of coronavirus, with five deaths.

With official figures still coming in, news outlets close to conservatives and ultra-conservatives have predicted a landslide win for their candidates across Iran.

"God willing, after counting the ballots cast at the stations, the results will be announced to the Election Headquarters", he said, adding, "We will inform the public of the results of each constituency according to the routine process in the Election Headquarters".

"The turnout across the country was 42.57 percent ..."

A variety of crises has beset Iran up to now 12 months, together with widespread anti-government protests in November and U.S. sanctions piling strain on the plunging financial system.

Khamenei lauded the people's "huge participation" in the vote.

The Trump administration, despite taking action over the election, has insisted it does not see distinctions between hardliners and moderates such as Rouhani, who has sought better relations with the West and protested the barring of candidates.

About half of all candidates, or more than 7,000, were disqualified from running in Friday's race, a lot of them reformists and moderates. Turnout was 62% within the 2016 parliamentary vote and 66% of voters forged ballots in 2012.

The shoot-down, and attempts by officials to initially hide the cause of the crash, sparked public anger and protests in Iran. "In the last two days, the pretext of an illness and virus was used, and their media did not miss the slightest opportunity to discourage people from voting not even several hours", Khamenei said.

About 7,000 of nearly 14,000 candidates were disqualified by the Guardian Council, which assesses who can stand.

Among those disqualified were 90 moderate and reformist sitting members of Iran's 290-seat parliament who wanted to run for re-election.

There were the first elections after the United States re-imposed the crippling sanctions.

Faculties have been shut down in Tehran and 4 different cities for two days on Sunday to forestall the unfold of the virus.

Iran is already facing diplomatic and economic isolation by Washington.

The election coincided with an outbreak of the new coronavirus that authorities say has killed four people in the Islamic republic this week.

Millions of people turned out to mourn his "martyrdom", but that unity suffered a blow after Iran admitted it had on January 8 accidentally shot down a Ukrainian airliner, killing 176 people. Using the ink was optional, said Anoushirvan Bandpay, according to the official IRNA news agency.

The IRGC is a US -designated terrorist organization.

The parliament in Iran does not have the power to dictate major policies, but it does debate the annual budget and the possible impeachment of ministers.

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