Iran’s Guardian Council insists ‘no re-election’
The nation's Guardian Council will not annul the election results in spite of widespread unrest.
June 23, 2009 1:00 by Dana El Baltaji
After almost two weeks of protests, Iran’s Guardian Council, which approves candidates and validates election results, announced it will not reverse President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, reports the BBC.
“In the recent presidential election we found no witness of major fraud or breach in the election. Therefore, there is no possibility of an annulment taking place,” council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei said in a report by government-owned Press TV on Tuesday.
Kadkhodaei explained that the council can “annul votes that come out of a particular affected ballot box, polling station, district or city.”
He also said that irregularities were reported before balloting on June 12, but not during or after the election.
Furthermore, Kadkhodaei conceded that numerous polling places remained opened up to three-an-a-half hours after the 10.00pm deadline, but denied some stations closed hours before the deadline.
If Kadkhodaei admits polling stations in some areas stayed open hours after the official deadline, why was President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory announced only two hours after the deadline?
Furthermore, according to the nation’s Ministry of Interior, 85 percent of Iran’s 46 million eligible voters cast their ballots; how were they tallied in just two hours?
According to the government, Ahmadinejad won the election with 62.63 percent of the votes against Mir Hossein Moussavi’s 33.75 percent.
Moussavi has since led protests in Tehran, resulting in widespread political unrest.
Tens of Moussavi’s supporters have been killed and hundreds have been arrested since demonstrations began last week.
The council said last week it will recount 10 percent of the votes – chosen at random – in a bid to subdue the public; however, Moussav insists the nation deserves a re-election.
On Sunday, the council announced the number of votes in 50 cities exceeded the number of eligible voters, amounting to approximately 3 million ballots. On Monday, the Ministry of Interior said it would reveal “box-by-box” details of the ballots in a bid to clear doubts.
But will the Iranian public be satisfied?