The complete boycott of the sham election by Iranian people was a positive answer to the call of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) to boycott the election.
Reports from Iran obtained by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq) from thousands of election polls across Iran confirms that this was a complete boycott by the people, and most of the polling stations were empty during the day.
According to reports from thousands of polling stations nationwide, including in Tehran, Karaj, Shahriar, Robat Karim, Islamshahr, Qods, Isfahan, Baharestan, Najafabad, Golpaygan, Zarinshahr, Yazdanshahr, Lamerd, Dasht-e Arjan, Firouzabad, Zahedan, Sonqor, Neyshabour, Mashhad, Shahr-e Kord, Kazeroun, Dalahou, Hamedan, Kermanshah, Qazvin, Alvand, Na’ein, Yazd, Yassouj, Malayer, Rasht, Sari, Nowshahr, Babol, Babolsar, Tabriz, Miyaneh, Daylaman, Dehdasht, Shush, Behbahan, Bukan, Azadshahr, Khorramabad, Kouhdasht, Semnan, Qeshm Island, and Bandar Kangan, the Iranian people have completely boycotted the mullahs’ election masquerade.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) February 21, 2020
Majid Ansari, one of the parliament candidates, admitted that polling stations were deserted this morning and expressed hope that “God willing participation would be better in the coming hours.”
On Friday, the NCRI by calling the boycott a major defeat for the regime, released a statement.
“Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), congratulated the Iranian people for the nationwide boycott of the sham election by the ruling religious fascism. Mrs. Rajavi added that the failure of the regime to intimidate people to go to the polls reflects the Iranian people’s homage to the 1,500 martyrs of the November 2019 uprising and portends of subsequent uprisings. This unprecedented boycott was a resounding “no” to Khamenei, Rouhani and the entirety of the clerical regime and showed the public’s enthusiasm for Resistance units’ slogan of “my vote is overthrow,” reads the statement adding:
“The nationwide boycott of the election farce will aggravate the regime’s internal feuding and deadly impasse and expedite its overthrow by the Iranian people and Resistance. Shaking the bloody hands of this illegitimate regime must stop at the international level. The world community must recognize the right of the Iranian people and Resistance to change the clerical regime and establish democracy and people’s sovereignty.”
The failure of the regime to intimidate people to go to the polls reflects the Iranian people’s homage to the 1,500 martyrs of the November 2019 uprising and portends of subsequent uprisings #IranProtests #FreeIran2020https://t.co/TEOj5SyOT2 pic.twitter.com/OijOyc3Cjt
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) February 21, 2020
Engulfed with different domestic and international crisis, the Iranian regime needed this parliamentary election farce and massive election turnout to achieve several points: First to portray a democratic façade for western countries and regime’s apologists to legitimize relationships with this vicious regime. Second, to somehow use massive turnout to legitimize its rule, particularly after its deadly crackdown on the nationwide Iran protests, and killing over 1500 people.
It has been months since the regime’s authorities, particularly its supreme leader Khamenei, and President Hassan Rouhani have been begging people to participate in the elections. Even this morning, while casting their votes they desperately pleaded with people to participate in the elections.
Khamenei, terrified of the nationwide boycott of the election farce, had earlier said participation is a religious duty and edict. “Election is a popular jihad; strengthens the country and safeguards the system’s legitimacy. Presence in the election and voting is a religious duty, a religious edict. It is not simply a nationalistic and revolutionary duty…. Whoever likes the system must take part in the election,” he emphasized.
Mrs. Rajavi had earlier declared: “These appeals, which reflect the regime’s fear of widespread public boycott, only increase the people’s revulsion toward this illegitimate election and strengthen the public resolve to boycott this farce even more.”
Mrs. Rajavi also reiterated: The Iranian people had cast their real vote in the November 2019 and January 2020 uprisings with chants of “death to the principle of the velayat-e faqih, and death to Khamenei.” She added, “Boycotting this sham is a patriotic duty and the Iranian nation’s bond with the martyrs, especially the 1,500 massacred during the November 2019 uprising,”
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 2020 Parliamentary elections took place at a time that there were three major uprisings in Iran in January 2018, November 2019, and January 2020, shaking the foundation of the Iranian regime. The population has risen against the rampant corruption, economic mismanagement, and lack of freedoms. Inflation and unemployment are at an all-time high. The people are further disillusioned about all factions of the regime after the downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane and lying for three days about it. Tehran’s “strategic depth” in Iraq and Lebanon is shattered, as the population in those countries are pushing the regime out. Regime’s number 2, namely Qassem Soleimani is dead. International sanctions are only increasing, and Tehran’s oil exports are close to none. These circumstances have made it an easy decision for the population to boycott the elections and have left the regime with tough impossible choices to survive. It is a life and death battle for the regime.
The pre-election purge of candidates by the Guardian Council, which is controlled by the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, is a regular occurrence. But, this time, Khamenei had ordered the near purge of all the rival faction members. It is anticipated that more than 80 percent of the upcoming parliamentary seats will be allocated to Khamenei’s faction.
The reason for this purge is the increasing vulnerability and deadly impasse of Khamenei. His tolerance threshold is at a new low. He is confronted with two choices, each of which is more dangerous than the other.
1- The first is to close ranks even more while adopting a more aggressive posture toward the U.S. and carry out more internal purges and suppression.
2- The second is to lessen the conflict with the U.S. and accept some of the 12 points announced by the U.S.
Based on the regime’s internal deliberations, Khamenei has decided to close ranks and carry out a complete purge during the elections for three main reasons: Fear of uprisings in scales of nationwide Iran protests in November, fear of the opposition particularly the MEK and NCRI, and fear of the regime’s increasing international isolation.
The regime’s utter fear was demonstrated by various regime officials including Rouhani’s political advisor Hesameddin Ashena who wrote, “Snubbing the ballot box is not snubbing the government or the Guardian Council. It leads to an increase in sanctions, in the probability of a military assault, and in MEK’s sabotage operations.”
This election will have severe short-term and medium-term consequences for the regime, leaving the regime increasingly broken, more vulnerable, with a weaker social base and faced with the potential of greater protests and social uprisings.
It is time for the International community to recognize the rights of the Iranian people to change their repressive regime and that their time has come to establish a republic based on the free vote of the Iranian people, based on the separation of religion and state, and based on pluralism, justice, and equality.