Crunching the numbers of Iran’s presidential election

The presidential election in Iran is over, and Hassan Rouhani has been selected to a second term.  Already there are strong allegations of fraud and vote-rigging, especially from the camp loyal to Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

The vote-rigging industry in Iran under the mullahs’ rule has been a very long-lasting practice.  One of the most common methods is simply to multiply the true number of all the votes for all candidates, to legitimize the collective process for the better good of the entire regime apparatus.

The mullahs are also known to print a large number of voting slips, far more than enough, and place them in ballot boxes at a variety of pit stops.  This is, again, aimed at depicting a canvas of very large voter participation.

The most important example was unveiled by former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi in 2009, when he said the Interior Ministry had printed an extra 22 to 32 million voting slips.  Moreover, a certain entity in the Interior Ministry, known as the “Vote Compiling Room,” is where any and all types of statistics are literally materialized.

Of course, this was back in 2009.  In this year’s election, eight years down the road, the “printing” phenomenon escalated to an enormous scale.  According to reports published by state media, the number of ballots printed for this year’s vote was over 200 million.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency, affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, unveiled these numbers while specifying that the number of eligible voters in Iran was 56,410,234.

It is worth noting that 200 million voting papers were printed for three rounds of elections, all held on May 19:

  •       presidential election
  •       city and village council elections
  •       midterm parliamentary elections

For the first two, 56 million voting papers was needed.  However, for the midterm parliamentary elections held in only four provinces, there was no need for another 60 to 70 million voting papers – especially since the constituencies were related to one city and a few towns:

1) Maraghe and Ajab Sheer (northwest Iran), population 314,000

2) Ahar and Harees (northwest Iran), population 192,000

3) City of Isfahan (central Iran), population around 1.6 million

4) Bandar Lange, Bestak, and Parsiyan (southern Iran), population less than 200,000

The total number of eligible voters in these four constituencies is less than 2.5 million people.

This brings us to the conclusion that these three different elections did not need anything more than 150 to 160 million voting slips.  The question is, what does this make of the 40 million extra voting slips printed?  Where did they end up?

Needless to say, according to the Interior Ministry’s own official numbers, in all the years of Iran being ruled by the mullahs, 25 to 49 percent of eligible voters have refused to cast their ballots.  Again, this is according to the Interior Ministry’s numbers.  Rest assured that the truth is far higher.

While Iran claimed that 73 percent of the eligible voters turned out for this year’s presidential election, of the 2.5 million Iranians living abroad, only 6 percent cast their ballots, according to the Interior Ministry.

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Tehran’s former mayor and a presidential candidate, said this regime represents only 4 percent of Iran’s population.  Considering the vote-engineering seen in this round, we can reach a reasonable conclusion that only 6 to 7 percent of the Iranian populace actually cast their votes on May 19.

And as the elections have come to an end, popular protests across the country have intensified.  Many Iranians have invested in the Caspian housing firm, only to see their money plundered.  This has sparked a string of protests across the country.

Of course, considering the intense political disputes among this regime’s various factions, more light will be shed on the entire scope of the vote-rigging process practiced in this year’s elections.

This is the true nature of a regime that represents only a single-digit percentage of the Iranian people.


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