The ballot boxes closed at midnight on Saturday Feb 22nd in Iran, after a long day of parliamentary elections. On Sunday, the state television announced that the regime hardliners had won all 30 parliamentary seats in the capital, Tehran. This happened amidst a general dissatisfaction due to a historically low turnout that did not exceed 42% according to the Iranian Ministry of Interior.
Khamenei Blames Corona
In an attempt to obscure the reality of the damning results of the elections, The Supreme Leader thanked the Iranian people for “brilliantly succeeding in the elections exercise” and shutting down “enemy attempts” of creating a negative atmosphere through the spread of the Corona virus hoping to reduce turnout; according to him.
During a Sunday morning jurisprudence lecture, Khamenei Said: “Our enemies in the past months have sought to create a negative environment to prevent participation in the upcoming elections, including the use of the “Corona outbreak” as an excuse… I thank the Iranian people for their wide participation in the parliamentary elections, despite enemy propaganda. The will of God has made sure that the people are victorious.”
Yesterday, media outlets reported multiple confrontations between protesters and police in Iran over the lack of preventative measures against the Corona virus, as it continues to spread within Iranian cities. These confrontations happened particularly in the city of Qom that had suffered 5 casualties according to the latest count released by the Ministry of Health.
Iranian media outlets said that the clashes took place yesterday in front of the “Nurani Hospital” located in the northern city of “Talsh”. Earlier, Iran had announced one death out of 10 newly identified cases.
A Mock Election
The Ministry of Interior announced that participation reached 42.57 percent. This marked the first election that had a participation rate below 50% since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Voter turnout is widely seen as the measure of Iranians approval of the countries distressed religious hegemony. Low turnout, according to observers, is evidence of widespread dissatisfaction with the Iranian regime and its religious rulers. This has come in the wake of severe interference by the authorities to prevent nominations of over 120 incumbent MP’s causing a huge popular backlash against the fall of freedoms and democracy. Observers are attributing the authority’s decision to have a “Mock Election” to the new “Iron First” internal policies practiced by the regime spurred by Khamenei and the IRGC following the assassination of their commander Qassem Soleimani.
According to the results presented by of the elections in Tehran, which resulted in a total victory of the hardliners, estimates now project the conservative party to garner 230 and possibly up to 240 seats from the 290 total. Consequently, the conservative party will dominate over two thirds of the parliament producing a government with no opposition. The government will then be subject in its foreign policy to the will of the Revolutionary Guard whose candidates won unopposed and control the majority in produced by the “Mock Election”.