Recent statement by Iran's Guardian Council to increase doubts on transparency in elections: experts

Politics Materials 24 June 2009 09:01 (UTC +04:00)
Recent statement by Iran's Guardian Council to increase doubts on transparency in elections: experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 23/ Trend , T.Jafarov /

Statement by the Guardian Council of Iran that in some constituencies the number of votes exceeds the number of voters questioned the transparency of the elections, as well as the support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who does not doubt the veracity of the election results.
"The announcement, whether it is true or not, will further undermine the credibility of the original poll and the strong support shown for its validity by Supreme Leader Khamenei," Adam Hug, Policy Director at the Foreign Policy Centre of Great Britain, told Trend .
On June 22, the Guardian Council of Iran announced that in 50 cities, the number of votes did not coincide with the number of people eligible to vote. The representative of the Council Abbasali Kyadkhudai said that in general, three million extra ballot papers were revealed, and it does not affect the results of the elections.
According to former Deputy of ex-Iranian President Mohammad Ali Rajai and Head of Modern Iran Research Center in Great Britain, Mohsen Sazegara, the last announcement by the Council showed that the organization had taken a step backwards. "The announcement by the Guardian Council does not coincide with the speech of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Ayatollah Khamenei stated that the elections were free from violations, but the Council says contrary," said Sazegara.
During his speech at Friday prayer on June 19, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called upon the opposition to stop the actions. Khamenei refused to annul the election results and said that Ahmadinejad gained 24 million votes and views on their falsification seem implausible. Ayatollah said that his position is close to Ahmadinejad's position.
According to Sazegara, the announcement by the Council that in 50 cities, the number of votes exceeds the number of voters undermines the veracity of the election. "Based on this kind of statement, it is impossible to believe in the fairness of presidential elections in Iran," said Sazegara.
Secretary General of the Organization for the Protection of National Interests of Iran Said Yari does not exclude the possibility of violations in the election. According to him, most of violations are associated with errors during the calculation of votes. "The Council decided to recalculate votes at 10 percent of the polling stations. Changes in indicators are not excluded during recalculation. There is probability of violations in any election. This may be due to an error during calculation, as well as people can miss something," Yari told Trend from Tehran.

The British expert Hug assesses the announcement as an attempt by the Guardian Council to split the opposition and protesting people. According to the expert, this would not have been enough to change the result.

Presidential elections in Iran were held on 12 June. As a result of the election, Ahmadinejad gained 24.5 million votes, and remained in office for a second term. Presidential candidates Karroubi and Mousavi declared mass falsifications in the elections and demanded repeat presidential elections. Thousands of protests of dissatisfied population led to clashes with police. The protest on Saturday in Tehran killed 19 people, CNN reported, citing sources in the hospital. According to unconfirmed reports, clashes killed 150 people.

"The recent deaths and ominous messages of a possible crackdown by the Revolutionary Guards are more likely than this announcement to give the protesters cause to step back," Hug said.

T.Konyaeva contributed to the article.

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