Presidential election in Iran: An election with out a actual alternative? | EUROtoday

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Status: 28.06.2024 04:07 a.m.

The presidential election is happening in Iran right this moment: But many are speaking a couple of staged election and wish to boycott it. After the withdrawal of two hardliners, there are nonetheless 4 candidates – together with a reasonable conservative.

Karin Senz

A superb 60 million Iranians are referred to as to elect a president. The background to that is the loss of life of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in mid-May. Although there are 4 names on the poll paper, many nonetheless say that there is no such thing as a actual election. The ultra-conservative Guardian Council had fastidiously weeded out the 80 candidates.

19-year-old Lilly from Tehran is allowed to vote for her president for the primary time. And she needs to just do that. She wears the scarf loosely round her neck and never on her head as required. The potential scholar needs to provide the entire thing an opportunity, she says hopefully. It is unquestionably doable to make a distinction within the nation.

A number of streets away, a lady waves off the phrase “election”. She wears a headband tightly round her face, not a hair is seen. The Islam of the Iranian management has nothing to do together with her Islam. She doesn't suppose a lot of “those at the top,” she says.

Deep divide between management and society

Others will not be within the election, like Sina and his girlfriend Sarvenaz from Rasht, which is close to the Caspian Sea. Both are round 30 years previous. Sarvenaz additionally solely wears the scarf as a shawl. She solely pulls it up within the automotive to keep away from the danger of the police briefly confiscating the automotive – one of many doable punishments for scarf violations.

The two secretly go jogging collectively early within the morning, and right here too they danger being punished. Because women and men will not be truly allowed to try this collectively, says Sina. They virtually lead a double life, like many Iranians, particularly younger ones.

There is a deep divide between the Islamic management in Tehran and society. The younger couple, together with the religious Muslim girl, belong to a gaggle that’s more likely to play an necessary position within the presidential election: the non-voters.

In 2021, when Raisi gained, voter turnout was already beneath 50 %, and on this 12 months's parliamentary elections it was simply over 40 %. It isn’t with out cause that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is attempting to get individuals within the nation to the polls, by means of appeals on state tv and on election posters. The regime needs to attract its legitimacy from the election.

Three favorites amongst 4 candidates

The collection of candidates must also be seen on this gentle. Three years in the past, specialists say, the election was tailor-made to Raisi. This time there are three favorites among the many 4 candidates. Two of the unique six have withdrawn.

Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, the present speaker of parliament and former mayor of Tehran, comes from the ultra-conservative camp – and the candidate who might be closest to the Revolutionary Guards. The Revolutionary Guards will not be solely a political energy, but additionally an financial one within the nation. However, there are large allegations of corruption in opposition to the 62-year-old.

Saeed Jalili is taken into account a detailed confidant of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, however there may be various hypothesis as to how shut. The 58-year-old additionally comes from the ultra-conservative camp.

What subsequent for the nuclear settlement?

Some observers see solely nuances between Jalili and Ghalibaf within the variations between their positions, for instance of their future course in the direction of the West. Jalili was chief negotiator within the nuclear negotiations earlier than the settlement in 2015, and he was seen as an obstructionist. He appears to be sticking to his line. Iran can handle by itself and the worldwide sanctions will not be slowing down the financial system.

In distinction, Iranian opposition channels report that Ghalibaf's advisers have been involved with Western diplomats in current weeks, which might recommend that he needs one other nuclear settlement – above all to do away with worldwide sanctions. Experts see this, together with corruption and mismanagement, as the primary cause for the financial catastrophe in Iran. More and extra individuals are slipping into poverty, inflation is horrendous, and the rial forex is falling additional and additional.

There is fixed hypothesis that one of many two will withdraw his candidacy, as they’re in competitors with one another within the ultra-conservative camp – in favor of the third favourite: Massud Peseschkian – additionally a conservative, however reasonably conservative. On the one hand, he criticizes the management for utilizing drive to implement the scarf requirement. On the opposite hand, he presents himself at marketing campaign occasions along with his daughter, who wears a chador, the lengthy black scarf that covers not solely the hair however your entire physique.

Many converse of staging

Lilly, the younger first-time voter, needs to vote for Peseschkian, however much less out of conviction than out of a scarcity of alternate options, she lets slip. Peseschkian is extra open to the West. The 69-year-old accused Jalili, for instance, of not providing any different to talks with the West.

This perspective has earned Peseschkian an oblique rebuke from Khamenei. In a speech this week, Khamenei mentioned: “There are politicians in our country who believe that they have to bow down to certain powers.” They imagine that progress can solely be achieved by means of America. Such individuals can’t lead the nation.

Many who wish to boycott the election say it’s a staged occasion. The president has no energy, that lies solely with the Supreme Leader. And not one of the candidates has what it takes to alter that.

Sina and Sarvenaz, the younger couple from Rasht, additionally don’t have any hope {that a} new president will rescue Iran from worldwide isolation. The two see their future exterior the nation, like so many younger Iranians. They simply wish to get away.

Karin Senz, ARD Istanbul, at present Tehran, tagesschau, 27.06.2024 15:59