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Complete Boycott of Election Farce, Confusion and Contradictions Among Officials in Announcing Bogus Figures

The Iranian people did not vote for the regime's sham parliamentary elections. The polling stations were empty.
The Iranian people did not vote for the regime’s sham parliamentary elections. The polling stations were empty.

 Iran: Sham Election, No. 8

Reports from thousands of polling stations in all 31 provinces in Iran point to the Iranian people’s complete boycott and snubbing of the election masquerade, such that in fabricating figures and announcing the vote tally, the regime’s officials were confused and made contradictory remarks.


Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, touring the election headquarters some nine hours after the voting had begun, said, “I hope with the presence of the people in the final hours of the voting turnout would reach an acceptable figure.”

At 3:00 pm local time, seven hours after voting began, Jamal Aref, the head of the election headquarters, announced that 11 million votes, multiplied several folds, had been cast, which represented 19 percent of the eligible voters. At midday, Tehran’s Governorate said half-a-million people, or five percent of eligible voters, had voted in Tehran. When Tehran’s Governor was asked about the turnout later that afternoon, he said the vote count for the entire country would only be announced by the Interior Minister tomorrow.

At 6:00 pm, Hossein Sistani, Isfahan Province’s Governor said 320,000 votes had been cast in the city of Isfahan, a mere 20 percent of eligible voters. Many polling stations reported to the Interior Ministry that participation had been less than the 2015 election and that the near unanimous majority of young people had refused to vote.

In another development, State TV broadcasts clearly showed empty polling stations. To cover-up the boycott, its cameras were filming polling stations designated for foreign journalists. Nevertheless, the few foreign journalists taken to these staged managed and “bustling” voting centers said participation was less than previous elections. A foreign television station broadcasting live from Hosseiniyeh Ershad in northern Tehran, normally designated for foreign journalists, showed that in one hour, only 33 people had cast their vote.

In many cities, IRGC officers prevented people from taking pictures or filming the voting to cover-up the dismal turnout. In many polling stations, the Bassijis and IRGC were voting multiple times. Buying votes was quite routine with each vote being bought between half-a-million to 4 million rials.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

February 21, 2020