Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, February 24, 2020—After much dithering and delay, the Iranian regime’s interior ministry declared the results of Friday’s parliamentary elections. According to Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, the interior minister, from the approx. 58 million people who were elligible to vote, only 24.5 million voted, which amounts to a mere 42.5-percent turnout. This is the lowest turnout in the regime’s sham elections since the 1979 revolution. According to the interior ministry, in Tehran, only 25 percent of the voters went to the polls.
This was an utter defeat for the mullahs, who were hoping to leverage a high turnout as a quasi-vote of confidence for their regime at a very critical time.
To be clear, the real turnout is even lower. The regime usually exaggerates its figures, and uses the opaque nature of its elections to tamper the results and statistics to serve its interests. On the elections day, there were several reports of regime officials buying votes with cash and regime forces voting at several polling stations to artificially increase the participation figures.
The regime’s own media outlets had predicted a 20-percent turnout. But despite all its measures to “engineer” the elections, Iranian officials couldn’t even declare a 50-percent turnout in the elections.
Khamenei admits to humiliating defeat
Ali Khamenei, the regime’s supreme leader, knows very well the disastrous consequences of a low voter turnout on his domestic and foreign policies. Therefore, while the interior ministry could have declared the results within hours of the elections deadline, the regime refrained from doing so and delayed so that it could figure out a way to improve the humiliating outcome.
On Sunday, Khamenei tried to normalize the situation and expressed gratitude for “the people’s glory in the test of the elections and for foiling the efforts of opportunists and the all-out propaganda of the enemies.”
Khamenei implicitly acknowledged his defeat, saying, “They are allocating thousands of people to follow the issues regarding Iran. We must have millions of people ready to defend [the regime] and to counterattack. We must attack them, whether it’s publicity or other things that our revolutionary people can do.”
Khamenei was referring to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), who with its widespread network of activists inside Iran and campaigns abroad have been exposing the regime’s crimes and revealing its plots, especially during the runup to the elections. Khamenei also implied that his regime would be trying to carry out more terror plots against its main opposition, as it has done in the past years.
The first signs of the defeat inside the regime
The defeat of the elections sham is already showing itself in the intensifying infighting among regime officials, who are trying to lay the blame for the fiasco on their rivals. The principalists, who have engineered the elections in their favor, claim to have won a landslide victory, especially in Tehran, where they claimed all 30 seats in the parliament.
But the so-called reformists are blaming the principalists for the low turnout, claiming that the widespread purge of candidates resulted in the lack of interest in voting in the elections. Others of the same faction blame themselves and their policies for losing in the sham elections.
Hamdeli, a news website run by the so-called reformists, wrote, “Tehran witnessed one of the most unprecedented and darkest elections in its history.”
The flip side of the coin of the Iranian regime’s utter defeat in the parliamentary elections is the great victory of the Iranian resistance and the people of Iran, who in the previous months have come to the streets in droves and cast their real vote by calling for regime change at great risk to their lives. “Down with Khamenei,” “Down with Rouhani,” “My vote is the overthrow of the regime,” and “Reformists, principalists, the game is over” are very popular slogans that have marked the real vote of the Iranian people.
As Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said following the elections, “In boycotting this charade, more than 90 percent of the Iranian people voted for the overthrow of the ruling religious fascism and welcomed the slogan of Resistance Units that ‘my vote is overthrow.’ This crushing defeat will only aggravate the mullahs’ internal feuding and their deadly impasse, expediting their overthrow by the Iranian people and Resistance.”
The figures announced by the regime, after long delay, rigging and contradictory statements, reflect an admission to defeat in the sham election. More than %90 of the Iranian people voted for the overthrow of the religious fascism #Iranhttps://t.co/JDcyE6YX67 pic.twitter.com/PaqBgXxacr— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) February 23, 2020