Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, February 18, 2020—The Iranian regime has scheduled its Majlis (parliament) elections façade for Friday, February 21. While the mullahs’ regime desperately needs a high voter turnout to claim a mandate from the people and voter confidence, the Iranian people are calling for a national boycott knowing the entire process is rigged and nothing more than a “selection/appointment,” not elections. And even the Iranian regime Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli has acknowledged the rigging and engineered nature of the regime’s sham elections.
“Experience shows that most of the violations took place with people using the identification documents of dead people to vote for a second time. There is also the case of fake documents with which people used to vote. We have also seen people using the same ID documents to vote more than two, three or four times. They would go from one voting station to another, making it very difficult for authorities,” he said in recent remarks.
What Rahmani Fazli refuses to mention is the fact that a very corrupt infrastructure is needed for people to so easily take advantage of. The regime refuses to prevent such fraud and voting violations, knowing the more votes can add up to a higher voter turnout and providing necessary propaganda material for its state media to broadcast and publish. Experience shows regime authorities have been behind such elections fraud and voting violations in all so-called elections during the past 41 years.
The mullahs’ Interior Minister also referred to the regime’s ongoing concerns over protests erupting across the country during the sham elections and how authorities are taking unprecedented measures to prevent such a devastating scenario.
“We are under attacks, sanctions, dissent and opposition. These issues always play a role… We witness more of this in our television and radio networks. All their analyses are focused on portraying even the smallest protest or opposition, or even lack of cooperation from the people with various issues as the entire population’s lack of support for the state. The moment they see 50, or 100 or 1,000 people gathering somewhere for protests, they launch such a propaganda fiasco claiming the entire Iranian population is unhappy with the status quo. There are people spreading fake news or provoking people to attack the elections headquarters of one individual or another. This can result in major unrest. All these individuals are well known for our police, military apparatus, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC),” he added.
With less than a week to go before Iran’s parliamentary elections, Hassan Rouhani, the regime’s president, held a press briefing on Sunday in which he discussed different critical issues.
Rouhani’s main goal, of course, was to beg the Iranian people to come to the polls on Friday. With calls for regime change becoming increasingly louder in Iran, regime officials are extremely worried about a nationwide boycott of the elections. To this end, Rouhani implicitly retraced his steps on some of the criticism he had made earlier in his rivalries with other ruling factions in the regime.
Previously, in reaction to members of his faction being disqualified from the race, Rouhani had criticized the Guardian Council, the body that vets candidates, and had described the parliamentary elections as “selections.”
With less than a week to go before Iran’s parliamentary elections, Hassan Rouhani, the regime’s president, held a press briefing on Sunday in which he discussed different critical issues.#Iran#BoycottIranShamElectionshttps://t.co/V3FA2ixCse— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) February 17, 2020
On Saturday, Rouhani said, “I never have and never will question the elections. The elections are an important issue for our country… If it were selections, there would be no need for insisting and begging [on participation]. The selection was a reference to before the revolution… What I wanted to say is that we don’t allow the elections to become selections, not that it is like that right now.”
Rouhani also effectively requested that the people choose whatever goes through the strict filters of the Guardian Council, saying, “There are three options: choosing the best, choosing from limited candidates, and no taking part. If we can’t make the best choice, should we also avoid choosing from limited candidates? It would be to our own detriment.”
Rouhani also seemed to backtrack on criticizing the uncompetitive nature of the elections. A previous estimate, first published by Rouhani-aligned media, had posited that there will be no competition in 70 districts because the candidates are all from the same ruling faction. In his Sunday press conference, Rouhani said that there are now only 44 districts where there’s no competition. “There will be a competition in most districts, and the people will show up… even if there wasn’t any competition, I still believe the people should show up. We are all Iranians and we love the revolution and our country.”
Rouhani and other regime officials, including supreme leader Ali Khamenei, have been begging the people to vote on Friday. Faced with many crises at home and abroad, the regime needs the turnout as a quasi-vote of confidence and a mandate to continue its destructive policies inside Iran and across the world.
The Iranian people have cast their real vote during the November 2019 and January 2020 uprisings. And on this basis, the people will boycott the mullahs' illegitimate parliamentary elections more than ever before #Iran #FreeIran2020 #BoycottIranShamElections pic.twitter.com/wCvkywo6fk— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) February 17, 2020
While Rouhani tried his best to portray a normal situation before the elections, he effectively highlighted the chaotic state that the regime is going through. As Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said on the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, “The Iranian people have cast their real vote during the November 2019 and January 2020 uprisings. This vote is summarized in the slogans of ‘down with the principle of velayat-e faqih,’ ‘death to Khamenei,’ and ‘death to Rouhani.’ And on this basis, the people will boycott the mullahs' illegitimate parliamentary election more than ever before.”