Iran: Sham Election, No. 4
Rouhani: election boycott will make America happy; his advisor: boycott will lead to an increase in MEK activities
Yesterday, the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, terrified of the nationwide boycott of the election farce, 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.
Today, Hassan Rouhani said, “Everyone must participate in the election. No one should say because their friends or fellow party members were disqualified, they will not participate… If we want to stand up to America, we must vote… Our presence will disappoint America and our absence will make America happy.”
Rouhani’s political advisor Hesameddin Ashena 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.”
So widespread is the scale of public apathy that the regime’s factions are openly talking about an 85 percent boycott. Rebellious youth in many cities have torched election posters and destroyed a number of candidates’ election headquarters. Calls for a boycott are all over the walls in cities.
Simultaneously, the regime is trying to ensure a high turnout through fraud and cheating. The Guardian Council Spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhoda’i said, “We will see a 50 percent turnout.” Previously, a leader of Khamenei’s faction, Mostafa Mirsalim, had predicted a 70 percent turnout.
At the same time, regime leaders admit to large-scale cheating. On January 27, Rouhani acknowledged cheating both in voting and in the vote count: “At the end, when they want to compile the votes, there will be a mess. Many elections run into a problem when the vote has complied.” On February 16, his first deputy Es’haq Jahangiri admitted to voting with “birth certificates of the deceased,” “fake birth certificates,” and multiple voting with one birth certificate.
The next day, state television reported buying votes, engineering the ballots, and bussing people to polling stations.” In all elections, different factions agree to increase the vote tally several-fold.
Fearing an uprising by the people and youth as well as the activities of Resistance Units, Khamenei has tasked the paramilitary Bassij and the IRGC with election security and protection, putting all suppressive agents on red alert. IRGC and Basssij will oversee the voting in polling stations.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 19, 2020