Le Professional (leprofessional) wrote in ontd_political,
Le Professional

Iran election recount in contested areas

Story broke out minutes ago that Iran's Guardian Council says it is prepared to recount disputed ballot boxes in election. From BBC:

Iran 'to hold election recount'
Iran's powerful Guardian Council says it is ready to recount disputed votes from Friday's presidential poll.

Moderate candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has contested President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election, alleging widespread fraud.

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says the council's announcement is a complete U-turn. The official results sparked three days of huge protests. Iranian radio says seven people were killed during demonstrations on Monday.

The Guardian Council said the votes would be recounted in areas contested by the losing candidates.

Our correspondent says this could effectively allow the defeated candidates to challenge all the votes.

New demonstrations have been called by supporters of both President Ahmadinejad and Mr Mousavi and are due to take place in Vali Asr Square in central Tehran.

Monday's protest involved hundreds of thousands of people and was one of the largest since the Iranian revolution 30 years ago.

The radio report said the attack occurred at the end of the "illegal" rally as people were heading home "peacefully".

"Several thugs wanted to attack a military post and vandalise public property in the vicinity of Azadi Square," the radio said referring to the site of the protest.

"Unfortunately seven people were killed and several others wounded in the incident."

Foreign concern

Dozens of opposition activists have been arrested since the protests began.

A number of senior reformist politicians, including former Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi and Mousavi ally Saeed Hajarian, were detained overnight, reports said.

Iran's most powerful body, currently controlled by conservatives
Includes six theologians picked by Supreme Leader and six jurists approved by parliament
Half the members change every three years
Approves bills passed by parliament and can veto them if deemed inconsistent with the constitution or Islamic law
The council can also bar candidates from standing in elections

Our correspondent adds that the authorities appear to be weakening in their support for President Ahmadinejad.

Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani condemned the response to the protests. Iranian media quoted him as saying: "The interior minister is responsible in this regard."

The country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has ordered an inquiry into the allegations of vote-rigging.

The authorities' handling of the protests has drawn international criticism.

EU foreign ministers expressed "serious concern" and called for an inquiry into the conduct of the election.

US President Barack Obama said he was "deeply troubled" by the violence in Iran.

Meanwhile, President Ahmadinejad arrived in Russia on Tuesday. He told a regional summit that the "age of empires" had ended, but made no mention of the protests.

UPDATE: Analysis by FiveThirtyEight

Recount in Iran?

The BBC is reporting that Iran's Guardian Council has announced that a "re-count" of Friday's votes will take place, following incredible protests and an official challenge to the results by Mousavi and Karroubi.

Commentators have rightly questioned whether a recount would provide any actual relief to the Iranian electoral process. Indeed, Mousavi and his supporters have demanded that Friday's balloting be invalidated, and a new vote held. The question is, under what circumstances would each option provide a better gauge of the Iranian public's actual will? It depends on the type of irregularities that actually occured:

1. Intimidation and electoral violence: Reports of activities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and paramilitary forces have been widely discussed. If Nate's hunch is correct, perhaps 15% or more of the population was willing to abstain from voting.
Recourse: New round of voting

2. Deliberate misreporting of vote totals: The blogosphere has been buzzing with reports of Mousavi's camp receiving word from the electoral commission that he had won the upwards of 60% of the vote, which was then retracted. If this was simply manipulation of the totals by loyalists in Tehran, and the political winds have shifted, the real total could possibly emerge.
Recourse: Recount

3. "Lost" ballots": Allegations have also abounded that a significant number of votes were disposed of from areas of strength for Mousavi and Karroubi (probably Rezai as well, but few reports).
Recourse: New round of voting

4. Khameni decided ahead of time: There are commentators, expert and not, that have suggested that the whole electoral process in Iran is a sham, with the results dictated long in advance by the Supreme Leader. Similar allegations were leveled in 2005, when then-unknown Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a surprising second place in the first round.
Recourse: Rioting in the street; move to London

Of course, we well know that one, two, or perhaps all occurred during the course of the campaign, with various impacts. The key question is really whether the top leadership has in fact decided to pull back from their support of Ahmandinejad for fear of more serious civil unrest, or if the recount offer is simply a measure to save face before recertifying Mr. Ahmadinejad.

I was forwarded this document is making rounds in Iran, not sure if it has been distributed widely or not... it reports the /original/ numbers that are being reported, it has not been verified (as to whether it is legit or not), but it is interesting if it turns out to be legit as it would imply a fraud in the part of the leader's office

It's addressed to Ayatollah Khamenei and [allegedly] signed by Iran's interior minister -- Sadegh Mahsouli -- it reports:

Total: 42,026,078
Mousavi: 19,075,623
Karoubi: 13,387,104
Ahmadinejad: 5,698,417
Rezai: 3,754,218
Void: 38,716

/I wonder if this will be accepted as a solution by the reformists & people.
UPDATE: New arrest, my favoritest Iranian cleric blogger and former Khatami VP has ben arrested D: http://www.webneveshteha.com/ WTF. Not too worried re: they doing anything to him, but they're trying to really scare people and prevent information from getting out. D: D:
Tags: elections, iran
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