Saturday, June 13, 2009

We can go on and slit our wrists

I haven't had a good day. I didn't get to sleep enough, I couldn't study enough for tomorrow's exam, and I was, and am, so angry, so mad, so furious that I could hardly concentrate on what I've been doing. And now, I just can't go to sleep.

Last night, I was awake, following every piece of news that I could lay my hands on how the election result was going on. From the first minutes, Ahmadinejad was ahead with more than 60 percent of the votes. This came as a shock. It couldn't be. But it was. My first impression was that this was the natural result of the fact that the first results published belong to rural areas and small towns where Ahmadinejad has most of his supporters. When I got to sleep at about 6:00 AM though, half of the votes had been counted and there was no change. Ahmadinejad kept his margin. I was quite uneasy. So I got to sleep with deep suspicions and when I woke up what I saw was Ahmadinejad declared winner, with almost the same result as last night.

So what happened? Were we actually deluded to think that Musavi had enough supporters to win the election, as The Guardian's Abbas Barzegar suggests so? Were we just tricked into generalizing what we saw in Tehran to all of Iran? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, I'm willing to bet anything that the result they published had nothing to do with what people put in the poll boxes. Musavi and Karrubi have already published a list of the violations they saw during the election. I'm not going to reiterate them here. I'm only listing the most important reasons that make me sure the whole election was a joke.

  • I had read in Musavi's website that his election code was 77. When I came at the polling station I saw a list of candidates. Next to Musavi's name I saw the number 4. I was going to write that number actually, but then I asked one of the present officials and he showed me another list, a smaller and less noticeable one, which showed the code numbers. The list started with Ahmadinejad, whose code was 44 and ended with Musavi, 77. I'm sure many people just wrote 4, and the Interior Ministry officials where more than happy to correct 4 to 44.
  • During last night several preliminary results where published. At one point Mohsen Rezaee's votes actually dropped from 633048 to 587913!
  • Mehdi Karrubi's campaign organization is said to have more members than the his votes in the election results. Are we supposed to believe that even his own people didn't vote for him (while Karrubi, was very much popular at least within the universities).
  • Musavi's campaign has announced his representatives have been denied (in various ways) overseeing the process of election in half of the polling stations.
  • The ratio of votes for Musavi over that of Ahmadinejad's at any given announcement was following a straight line with very very little divergence. This was also true for the ratio of votes for all pairs of candidates.
  • Even those who believe we've been deluded admit that in Tehran Musavi had many supporters. Since the Tehran metropolitan area consists of more than one fifth of the population of Iran, it is only natural to think that after adding Tehran votes, the results would change even if it is for a few percents. But the ratios remained pretty much the same way as before.
  • And the last and most important reason: The turn-out in yesterday's election was 85 percent, while 48 percent voted in the run-off poll four years ago --the reason Ahmadinejad was elected in the first place since the number of people who didn't vote was more than those who voted for him. In Iran, voting and not voting are both political decisions. Many people don't vote since they don't want to legitimize the regime. So it is easy to see that those who do not vote, are not the type to go and vote for Ahmadinejad after many years of not voting. After all, voting is our "religious and sacred duty" as the Supreme Leader and other Islamic Republic supporters tell people. Ahmadinejad's god-fearing supporters simply cannot have committed such sins in the past. They have always been voters. In the end, there is no way, this 38 percent part of the constituents had had voted for Ahmadinejad. That means he couldn't have had 63.62 percent of the votes.
The election was a fraud, and a blatant sort of fraud that could only be expected from Ahmadinejad. It was a coup, a silent coup which of course was finally approved by the Supreme Leader (or more probably he had given them the permission from the beginning).

Now what should we do? When George Bush was reelected in the US for his second term, Michael Moore wrote a letter, "17 reasons not to slit your wrist." Unfortunately, we in Iran cannot think along the same lines as he did. Unlike Bush, Ahmadinejad can be reelected for one additional term, for example, though not in another consecutive term. I've heard he has expressed discontent at the two/three term limitation. He has four years to try to change the constitution. Of course, changing constitution is not that easy, but I'm sure "the favorite president of the Iranian nation" can achieve anything he wants.

Even if he is not going for a change of constitution, he has four full years to make our lives as miserable as he can, and after his term is finished, I'm sure many Iranians (including myself) are not going to show up in future elections which will make their task of "electing" another administration like this one even easier. Yeah, we're stuck. There is no good news. We can as well go on and slit our wrists right now, or be more sensible and get out of this disappointment of a country as soon as we can.


wintershard said...

I came across this blog while searching, in the United States, for some first-hand accounts of what was happening in Iran. Thank you for providing some of that for myself, and others.

My hopes are that you, and your family, are safe.

Neda Nikbakht said...

I also came across your blog in US. When I read what you wrote about election code I was shocked. I voted In Philadelphia on Friday and I put number 4 as my code. We were wondering what the candidate code meant and they referred us to some paper on the wall. There were no numbers on that piece of paper except 1 through 4 used to list the candidates. So we naturally put 4 down. I did a search on the code issue after I read your blog. It seems that when ballots are read by computers, number 4 is automatically read as 44. I suppose it means that "I voted for Ahmadinejad". It all sounds like some sort of practical joke played on us!

Homayoon said...

I'm glad my post has been informative for you both. I think if every Iranian uses the limited resources he/she has to spread the cause and get people know about what is going on here, we will have much more power than the regime. The same thing goes about resisting the regime.

Benno said...

Kara Homayoon,

Ekde 12 junio mi preskau hore konsultas la retpaghon de svisa gazeto por trovi novajn informojn pri la elektoj en Irano kaj la postaj protestoj. Sed mi ne scias, kiel fidindaj tiuj informoj estas. Hazarde mi trovis vian blogon serchante ion pri esperanto. Dankon pro tiuj informoj!

Mi esperas ke ankorau chio bonas che vi. Kuraghon!

Plej amikaj salutoj el Svislando,

Homayoon said...

Kara Benno,
Mi gxojas ke mia skribajxo estis utila por vi. Dankegon por via afabla komento.