Friday, April 26, 2013

The Overdue Municipality Election

As the next Islamic Republic presidential "elections" approaches, the international media is slowly preparing to focus its attention on this event. This year there seems to be more candidates than in previous elections, something that is confusing most of the Iran pundits, particularly as  the Supreme Leader still remains undecided as to which candidate to back.

For some people like me, the very fact that the candidates are vetted and have to be approved by a non-elected body, makes the entire process void and worthless, regardless of how many people take part in it. Others still do regard the number of participants in the elections as a benchmark for the legitimacy of the elections and that of the regime. With no independent supervisory board that will monitor the counts and the way the regime controls the national media and restricts the foreign media by taking the foreign reporters to pre-designated polling stations, I have no idea how the number of participants will be independently verified to be used as a useful benchmark, but another factor which will help the polling stations look busy is that the presidential elections and the Town Municipality Elections will be held simultaneously at the same time.

The Municipality Elections were in fact due to be held three years ago but after the last presidential post-election protests that erupted in 2009, the regime, in contravention of its own constitution, delayed the Municipality elections until now.

The regime's other tactic to bring the crowds to the ballot box is to present the voters with a choice of bad and worse candidates, hoping that many will be resigned to think that the best they can do is to choose the bad candidate over the worse candidate.

Whatever happens in June this year, what is certain is that the elections, even as they are i.e. controlled and restricted, are becoming a headache for the Islamic Republic and soon, even the mockery as they are now, will become more limited.

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