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Q&A With Shahin Gobadi on Widespread Calls for Boycott, Unique Character of Upcoming Sham Election

Shahin Gobadi, The Foreign Affairs Committee of The National Council of Resistance of Iran
Shahin Gobadi, The Foreign Affairs Committee of The National Council of Resistance of Iran

Comment by Shahin Gobadi of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran:


While talk of the election in a theocracy is an oxymoronic concept, it is an established fact that the regime hypes the turnout several folds to create an image of legitimacy and popularity. This year, however, is different. One unique and revealing character of the upcoming sham election is the call for a boycott that has become pervasive in society as an act of defiance.

Graffiti on walls call for boycott and say “my vote is regime change”. In many cities, defiant youth are tearing down the candidates’ banners and posters and social media are filled with calls for a boycott.

This has become so omnipresent that even state-controlled intuitions can no longer ignore them. According to a poll conducted by the University of Tehran’s Social Studies and Research Institute, only 24.2 percent of Tehran’s population will vote.  According to poll announced by Abbas Abdi, a key figure in the “moderate” faction, only 19.2 percent will cast votes. According to Tehran University poll, 94 percent of those surveyed said they are discontent with the state of things.

This explains why the regime’s senior officials, including Khamenei, have panicked and are begging people to vote and why the regime has resorted to all sorts of incentives and intimidation to force people to vote.

It is also becoming evident that the regime has to engage in even more exaggeration than before to show a high turnout.