Population not to take active part in parliamentary elections in Iran

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 29 / Trend T. Jafarov /

Iranian media, which conducted a variety of polls, said that the voter's turnout will hit 60 - 65 percent in the parliamentary elections of IX convocation to be held on March 2. But experts think that the voter's turnout in the election will be much lower.

"The reformers' failure to participate in elections, public distrust toward the state because of the events that occurred after the presidential elections, clashes between the currents in the ruling camp of conservatives show that the voter's turnout will not exceed 30 - 35 percent in these elections," Iranian political analyst Hasan Shariatmadari from Germany told Trend today.

The election campaign of 3,444 people who nominated their candidacy will complete on March 1. According to the Iranian news agency Fars, about 60-65 percent of voters will take part in the parliamentary elections of IX convocation in Iran on March 2. Other Iranian websites claim that this figure will amount to 55-60 percent.

In his speech on Wednesday, Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on the Iranian people to take an active part in parliamentary elections on Friday. He stressed that these elections will differ from previous ones.

Shariatmadari called the lack of independent institutions, which could conduct the polls in Iran and the population's failure to express its views on security as the main problems in determining voter's turnout.

Former Iranian MP, expert on domestic issues, Ali Mazrui also thinks that voter's turnout in these elections will be lower than in previous elections.

"It is very difficult to determine the voter's turnout on the eve of the elections," he told Trend. "But as the official statistics was 51 percent in the parliamentary elections of VII and VIII convocations, I think that the Iranians will not take an active part in these elections."

As a result of the upcoming parliamentary elections, the seats in the Parliament will be divided between the supporters of religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad (who nominated their candidacy), Shariatmadari said.

The Interior Ministry is under the state, but Supervisory Board - under Ayatollah Khamenei's supporters," he said. This gives grounds to say that the parliamentary seats will be occupied mainly by conservatives from both groups."

Shariatmadari said that there is tension between conservative and reformist wing of the moderate supporters. He did not exclude the idea of the "agreed list".

There will be a main competition between reformers and conservatives in the parliamentary elections in Iran. According to the opposition media, several parties, groups and representatives of the reformist camp will not participate in the upcoming elections.
The Conservatives also divided into five different fronts. They will participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections from Tehran.

Shariatmadari called the persons, who nominated themselves from the reformers, as unreal reformers and those who use the situation to their advantage.

"The leaders and famous representatives of reformers do not take part in the elections and the people know this very well," he said. "Only a few people, calling themselves reformers, participate. This does not have great significance."

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