Apathy greets Iran presidential vote dominated by hard-liner

Apathy greets Iran presidential vote dominated by hard-liner
Spread the love

 

 

Islam News – Iranians voted Friday in a presidential election dominated by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s hard-line protege after the disqualification of his strongest competition, fueling apathy that left some polling places largely deserted despite pleas to support the Islamic Republic at the ballot box.

Opinion polling by state-linked organizations, along with analysts, indicated that judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi — who already is under U.S. sanctions — was the front-runner in a field of only four candidates. Former Central Bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati is running as the moderate candidate but hasn’t inspired the same support as outgoing President Hassan Rouhani, who is term-limited from seeking the office again.

As night fell, turnout appeared far lower than in Iran’s last presidential election in 2017. At one polling place inside a mosque in central Tehran, a Shiite cleric played soccer with a young boy as most of its workers napped in a courtyard. At another, officials watched videos on their mobile phones as state television blared beside them, offering only tight shots of locations around the country — as opposed to the long, snaking lines of past elections.

As fear over turnout mounted, Iran’s Interior Ministry extended voting by two hours, to 2 a.m. Saturday, citing the need to accommodate “crowds” at several polling stations nationwide.

“My vote will not change anything in this election, the number of people who are voting for Raisi is huge and Hemmati does not have the necessary skills for this,” said Hediyeh, a 25-year-old woman who gave only her first name while hurrying to a taxi in Haft-e Tir Square after avoiding the polls. “I have no candidate here.”

“It is useless,” said Ali Hosseini, a 36-year-old unemployed resident in southern Tehran, about voting. “Anyone who wins the election after some time says he cannot solve problem of the economy because of intervention by influential people. He then forgets his promises and we poor people again remain disappointed.”

Source: AP News

Islam News