That’s why the Guardian Council, which answers only to Khamenei, has purged parliamentary candidates from the faction of President Hassan Rouhani. When Rouhani described this as an appointment rather than election, Khamenei lashed out, asking how Rouhani dare criticize the Guardian Council and accusing him of destroying people’s trust in the election.
In this comment, Khamenei revealed that his greatest fear would be for people to treat this election like the sham it is because a significantly low turnout would be drastically different from the artificially high voter turnout the regime created in previous years. It would show a lack of trust in the regime.
But still, even though Rouhani said “One cannot run the country with one faction” and foretold systematic vote-rigging, his underlings have come out to encourage voters. His spokesman Ali Rabiei said all Iranians should come out to the ballot box.
While on Khamenei’s side, Mostafa Mirsalim said that they think 70% of voters will show up on election day, a number that would be considered high in an actual democracy.
State-run media said that the Guardian Council has disqualified 90 sitting members of parliament, some who have served multiple terms, while candidates in 170 districts are solely from Khamenei’s faction. This could mean that 260 seats will essentially go to Khamenei and 30 to Rouhani.
Maryam Rajavi, the President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), described this crisis at the top of the regime over the election as a reflection of the impasse the regime is facing. She said that the purge of rival candidates is a clear sign of the regime’s “inevitable retrenchment” in the face of uprisings and inevitable overthrow.
She stressed that the Iranian people cast their vote in the uprisings of November 2019 and January 2020, when they chanted “death to the principle of the velayat-e faqih, and death to Khamenei”, and urged people to boycott this election.
Rajavi said: “Boycotting this farce is a patriotic duty and the Iranian nation’s pledge to the martyrs of the Iranian people, especially the 1,500 martyrs of the November uprising. It also reflects the demands of the January 2020 uprising of the people and students for the overthrow of the illegitimate ruling theocracy in its entirety.”