The parliamentary elections in Iran are to be held on 21 February 2020, but as the elections lack a genuine opposition candidate; this is little more than an insult to democracy.
The candidates will not fight over policy, but will instead resort to bitter infighting over corruption and theft of the Iranian people’s wealth, which in most cases is ironic because they are all as bad as one another.
There are two factions in Iranian politics; one loyal to Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, traditionally supported by poor and rural communities, and one supporting President Hassan Rouhani, which puts on a show of moderation and is traditionally supported by the middle classes. This, of course, means nothing and the Iranian people know this.
In fact, during the nationwide Iran protests of December 2017 and November 2019, both Khamenei’s and Rouhani’s factions lost the support of its traditional voters. In fact, people held banners with the signs “Reformist, hardliner, the game is over”.
This indicates that there will be a significantly lower voter turnout this year, which will alert other countries, so the regime will resort to election fraud and fabricating votes.
Candidates registered by 7 December and began their eligibility vetting by the Interior Ministry’s executive committees and the Guardian Council soon after. Unlike in other countries, this vetting isn’t something like, checking that the candidate is a citizen, but instead checking if they are Muslim, if they support the constitution, and if they support the absolute rule of the clergy (Supreme Leader). They even disqualified 90 members of the current parliament.
The state-run Etemad newspaper wrote on 13 January: “Statistics indicate we have an unprecedented disqualification in the election in the history of Islamic Republic.”
By now, the Guardian Council should have finished vetting, but they are allowed to qualify or disqualify candidates up until Election Day, without publically revealing the reason. This means that all candidates are under suspicion at all times.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran wrote: “This level of disqualification reflects the depth of the regime’s emerging crises. While the regime desperately claims and yet needs absolute unity, it has no response to these crises. In a nutshell, the regime’s incapability of resolving the economic, political and social problems has intensified its infighting.”
It may also not surprise you to learn that in this patriarchal, warmongering regime, 88% of registered candidates are male, while some 4,200 (around a quarter) are active military personnel or veterans of the Iran-Iraq War.