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Power struggle escalates as Iran’s regime nears its sham elections

As regime officials quarrel over the upcoming elections, the people are preparing for a mass boycott
As regime officials quarrel over the upcoming elections, the people are preparing for a mass boycott

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, May 12, 2021—The registration day for the regime’s sham Presidential elections began on Tuesday. Despite the Guardian Council had insisted on certain terms for the registrations, the state-run Fars News agency reported many candidates ignored it.

The power struggle between various regime factions has increased in recent weeks. The regime’s President Hassan Rouhani openly dismissed the Guardian Councils’ conditions.

The Guardian Council, tasked to vet the candidates, is comprised of 12 members, six of whom are appointed by the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei. The remaining six are appointed by the Judiciary chief, who is himself appointed by Khamenei.

Back in March Khamenei openly expressed his willingness to unify his regime and warned of division and polarization among the regime’s factions, going on to voice his preference for a “young and hezbollahi” government and a “Qassem Soleimani–like” president.

Therefore, many of the so-called “reformist” candidates have been disqualified by the Guardian Council in both legislative and municipal elections.

Rouhani countered by saying that the Guardian Council has no right to impose rules. This is while back in 2016 Khamenei has handed over the "general election policies" to this council.

On Monday, May 12, Rouhani said, “For registrations, the existing rules should be the criterion. The requirements of the Ministry of Interior must be implemented within the framework of the law and with the notification of the President.

But on the same day, the spokesperson of the Guardian Council Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei said, “The decision of the Guardian Council is binding on the Ministry of Interior and other executives.”

On the registration day, the Interior Ministry did not comply with Guardian Council conditions and registered the candidates in accordance with existing law.

But Kadkhodaei immediately threatened, “The registration of those who do not have the documents announced by the Guardian Council is not valid and we told our representative not to accept them.”

While on May 2, Khamenei expressed concerns about a potential low voter turnout, his main worry about the upcoming elections, the power struggle within the regime increases.

At the same time, the regime is confronted with tough domestic crises, exemplified in major protests erupting across the country and all walks of life.

Every day, various segments of the Iranian society are declaring their lack of interest in voting in the upcoming elections. A slogan that is being heard in many cities these days is: “We will not vote, we’ve heard too many lies.” The real vote of the people of Iran, as they have announced it in five nationwide uprisings since 2018, is regime change.