Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Iranian rerun

Jo Adetunji's analysis in The Guardian (UK) assumes that open politics and an honest election will be the Iranian way in the presidential election. I have my doubts about both.

Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to seek second term
The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, officially declared yesterday that he would run for a second term in next month's election.

Ahmadinejad's candidacy will pit the hardline president, who has pushed anti-western rhetoric and a pro-nuclear stance, against the former prime ­minister, Mirhossein Mousavi, a more moderate candidate.Mousavi, who has said he will "save" the Iranian economy if elected, is expected to register his candidacy today. He accused Ahmadinejad of pushing Iran to "the edge of a precipice."...

Mohsen Rezaei, a former head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, is also expected to stand in the election on 12 June but is not considered a leading challenger. However his election campaign, which will focus on Iran's economic problems, could draw votes away from Ahmadinejad, weakening the president...

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At 7:01 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Hossein Jaseb wrote in The Washington Post about one of the reasons I have doubts about the legitimacy of Iranian elections.

Militia must stay out of election: Iran reformer"A reformist challenger to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Iran's Basij militia and armed forces on Saturday not to intervene in June's presidential election, countering comments from a senior commander.

"The comments from cleric Mehdi Karoubi, a former parliamentary speaker, highlighted concern among moderates that the hardline president will win crucial support from the Basij religious militia in his bid for a second four-year term.

"The voluntary force, which is estimated to have 12 million members, is affiliated to the elite Revolutionary Guards...

"Guards chief Mohammad Ali Jafari was quoted by the Etemad-e Melli newspaper as saying on Friday, 'A part of the Basij, that is not considered as part of the armed forces, is permitted to enter political debates and play an active role.' He did not elaborate...

"A senior aide of former Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi, who is seen as Ahmadinejad's main moderate rival in the presidency race, also criticized Jafari's statement.

"'If it means that Basijis in an organized way are going to support a specific candidate ... it is against the late leader (Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini's order,' he told Etemad-e Melli, referring to the founder of the Islamic Republic..."


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