- Published: Friday, 21 February 2020
Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, has called on Iranians not to vote on Friday, describing the parliamentary elections in Iran a “sham”, and urged Iranians to instead focus on overthrowing the failing regime.
Maryam Rajavi, who is the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: “The boycott of the sham elections is a patriotic duty and the bond of the Iranian people with their martyrs, especially the over 1,500 martyrs of the November uprising.”
She continued: “This boycott sides with the demands of the arisen people and students in January for the overthrow of the entirety of the illegitimate regime of the [absolute clerical rule]. Indeed, the vote of the Iranian people is ‘overthrow’.”
These comments refer to the nationwide uprisings of November 2019 and January 2020 when people came out into the streets to call for the fall of the mullahs. The protests, which began over issues as disparate as the tripling of fuel prices and the regime’s lies over the downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet, soon focused on the people’s call for regime change. It was during these uprisings, when the people chanted “down with the dictator”, that Maryam Rajavi said the people cast their true vote.
The boycott of the sham elections is a patriotic duty and the bond of the Iranian people with their martyrs, especially the over 1,500 martyrs of the November uprising. #Iran #FreeIran2020 #BoycottIranShamElections pic.twitter.com/RKWXwHbOe8— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) February 18, 2020
The Iranian regime’s Guardian Council, which is appointed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has been routinely disqualifying candidates for election over the past few weeks, including 90 sitting members of parliament. The majority of these come from the so-called reformist faction, although there is no true opposition in the Iranian parliament as all of them swear an oath to the ultimate rule of the clerical regime.
Maryam Rajavi has said this is a power grab; an attempt by Khamenei to instate a one-faction parliament and forestall the end of the regime for weeks or months more.
Maryam Rajavi said: “Today, [Khamenei] is trying to fill the reactionary parliament with absolute loyalists. This is because he sees closing ranks as the solution to dealing with the current crisis. But, whether he succeeds or fails in this endeavor, in the end, the clerical regime has no way out and cannot forestall its overthrow.”
This election comes at a time of great instability for the regime, following two nationwide uprisings in which the regime slaughtered 1,500 dissidents and arrested 12,000 more, the assassination of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike, and additional sanctions from the US.
As a result of the vote-rigging, many Iranians are choosing to boycott the election, although you might never know it because the regime will certainly inflate the voter numbers as they have done before to produce laughably high turnouts.
Even though the regime will falsely claim high participation in the election, it will still send a message to the mullahs. It will also weaken the already fragile regime further, according to Maryam Rajavi, who sees it as proof that the end of the regime is in sight.