Saturday, 13 June 2009

Iran: don't mourn, and organise for 26 June

I have many Iranian friends. They are all dismayed by the result of the Iranian presidential election, which shows incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winning a comfortable majority in the first round, thereby avoiding a second round of voting, which might have united the opposition around a single candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi.

My friends are pretty convinced that Ahmadinejad's supporters in the state have fiddled the results, quite apart from the fact that he has also been travelling around the countryside distributing largesse to the rural poor, more or less buying their votes - another abuse of his power.

Here is an interesting report from the BBC.

The election process is deeply undemocratic, only people who accept the whole Islamic Republic regime can stand for election. But it is still a forum for politics to be done, and the fact that the incumbent might have used his position to fiddle this result marks a further deterioration in Iran's stunted democracy.

Many constituencies are involved in the fight for democracy in Iran. One among them is the trade union movement, heavily repressed. Several international trade union federations have organised a day of support for them, on Friday 26 June. I will post details of events in the UK once they are finalised.

Iran: don't mourn, organise (although that is often easier said than done).

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