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Iranian officials, state-run media acknowledge election boycott

Iran's parliamentary elections was boycotted by the people—February 2020
Iran's parliamentary elections was boycotted by the people—February 2020

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, February 26, 2020—Reports by  regime officials and state-run media acknowledge the boycott of the sham parliamentary elections by the Iranian people. These reports go against initial claims by regime officials that the elections were well received by the public and resulted in a high voter turnout. Prior to the elections, the highest regime officials had pleaded with the people to vote. The regime needed a high voter turnout as a quasi-vote of confidence and an implicit green light to continue its repressive policies at home and its destructive policies abroad.

During the elections day, the regime went to great lengths to pave the way to rig the elections, tamper the results, and create the fake impression of a high voter turnout. But even those efforts did not yield the results the regime desired. The 2020 parliamentary elections of Iran, as reported by the regime’s own media and the international press, recorded the lowest voter turnout in the history of the Islamic Republic.

The state-run media reported that at the polling stations of Yazd and Eshkezer the total of null votes was 14% of the total 24,000 cast ballots, and the number of null votes was only second to the votes that the first elected candidate had received.

Javan Daily, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), wrote on February 23, 2020, “Participation in the elections has declined compared to previous rounds. The unexpected decision of the gasoline price hike had prepared a street protests in November followed by some kind of hidden protest during elections. Exploitation of various bitter-end media of those killed in November protests and the Ukrainian plane crash was very effective.”

Vatan-e Emrouz Daily wrote on February 23, 2020: "This reduction in participation can be seen as a warning."

Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of Kayhan Daily: “If we see a reduction in participation as a result of some people’s disappointment, contrary to what our enemies and their internal followers insist, it is due to the poor performance of some government officials and current members of the parliament.”

The Mostaghel Daily wrote on February 23, 2020: “Some citizens who announced not to participate in elections, have serious protest to important issues and events. The denounce the poor economy and subsistence situation, inefficiency and pervasive corruption in various institutions, unaccountability of government officials, citizens’ living conditions and the events of the November and January. These were the reasons why people were disappointed in participation in elections and had no hope for change.”

Daily Entekhab quoted Mullah Masih Mohajeri on February 23, 2020: “Being indifferent to low participation of people in the elections is not a way to just ignore this warning. Recourse to unjustified justifications is useless. We should not blame others for the reduction in participation. The real reason is our own behavior and every day that passes the repulsions become more and the attractions less. Disagreement and division are rising.”