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Why Iranian Authorities Insist on Participation in Elections?

The Iranian regime has almost 17 days to go until its so-called Parliament (Majlis) election. Both factions of the regime —the factions of the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the regime’s president Hassan Rouhani— are trying to push their opponents back.

Therefore, governments truly receive their credit through ballot boxes. Shortly, regardless of which one is nominated as the leader, the genuine winner is the people’s determination.

However, in oppressive governments, this equation is quite the opposite. Given a dictatorship can never hold democratic elections and draws its power from suppression and spreading fear and terror in the society, elections are merely a publicity show to fool their international counterparts. Elections in Iran have proven this reality as a prominent fact.

In the past two months alone, hundreds of thousands of people flooded into streets twice and demanded regime change. Instead of hearing rightful cries, the government decided to respond to the impoverished people with force.

Eventually, it could quell protests merely via the bloodiest crackdown on barehanded youths. In such circumstances, officials scramble to drag people to the ballot boxes to claim they enjoy legitimacy! Whereas the people have announced their main desire loud and clear.

On the other hand, the ruling system has sunk in bizarre confusion. The supreme leader Ali Khamenei looks for significant participation of the people in elections, however, he simultaneously orders his obedient Guardian Council to disqualify and bar rival candidates from running for scheduled parliamentary elections in February.

Notably, around 90 current members of the parliament were primarily disqualified by Khamenei’s appointees, which raised the question among the regime’s supporters how do disqualify MPs have the credibility to finish their current term?

However, Khamenei’s representatives in Friday prayer sermons still attempt to insinuate the people to vote. They only insist on great participation and do not care about which candidate the people vote for! Perhaps, because they have previously determined the next MPs and they would like to fool their international counterparts once again.

“God forbid we would be informed that few people participated in elections. Leave any complaints against MPs, ministers, governors,” Tehran’s Friday prayer leader Mohammad Ali Movahedi-Kermani said during his sermon on January 21.

“We all should realize that participation at the ballot boxes and voting is our religious duty. We objected to the law if we didn’t [vote],” Isfahan’s Friday prayer leader Yousef Tabatabai Nejad said during his sermon on January 21.

In this respect, even the president Hassan Rouhani, while many his allies have been disqualified by Khamenei-controlled Guardian Council, urged the people to attend in elections.

“Here, I would like to urge the entire Iranian nation, men, women, youths, old people whether in villages or cities and I urge all ethnics and religious minorities to go together to the ballot boxes, however, we have our complaints or are upset,” Rouhani said at the conference of governors and mayors on January 7.

The truth is if the ayatollahs had enjoyed public credibility, they wouldn’t need to beg the people for participating alone. Instead, they feel the public’s wrath against their entire government better than anyone else.

In this context, they abuse formality elections such as the funeral of Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, or Khamenei’s Friday prayer to fool their international counterparts.

However, their main purpose is to terrorize society and pretend a popular base to deter upcoming protests and dissuade the people from following their basic rights for freedom, justice, and a democratic government.

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