NewsSpecial WireIran clerics setting stage for electoral fraud: opposition

Iran clerics setting stage for electoral fraud: opposition

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Iran Focus: London, Jun. 15 – Faced with widespread apathy and a nationwide call for a boycott of the June 17 presidential elections, the Iranian regime is setting the stage to engage in electoral fraud, the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran announced today. The NCRI said in a statement that Iran’s clerical authorities planned to “engage in fraud, vote fixing, and inflating the turnout” figures. Iran Focus

London, Jun. 15 – Faced with widespread apathy and a nationwide call for a boycott of the June 17 presidential elections, the Iranian regime is setting the stage to engage in electoral fraud, the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran announced today.

The NCRI said in a statement that Iran’s clerical authorities planned to “engage in fraud, vote fixing, and inflating the turnout” figures.

The NCRI accused Tehran of cutting down on the number of eligible voters, quoting the Interior Ministry which put the figure at 46.7 million, an increase of only 350,000 in the electorate from the February 2004 legislature elections, despite governmental figures showing an annual increase of 1.25 million eligible voters, meaning that there should have been a surplus of 1.7 million voters since that time.

The Paris-based opposition coalition also referred to comments yesterday by Gholamhossein Karbaschi, a confidant of the leading candidate Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former Mayor of Tehran, who said, “We hear from various quarters that some have mobilized their forces and intend to engage in unlawful actions and fraud”.

They accused the ruling ayatollahs of sanctioning voting without photo-identity cards, paving the way for casting fake ballots including those of deceased persons. Among other tactics, the NCRI said, was the sanctioning of voting abroad with multiple forms of identity, which would allow multiple-voting.

Despite the guideline that military forces could not take part in the organising voting booths, Iran’s judiciary spokesman announced last week that the paramilitary Bassij forces were not considered as military personnel under law and could therefore assist in running the booths.

“Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has ordered each of them to take 10 people to the voting stations”, the NCRI statement said.

Pre-election polls almost unanimously predict that the June 17 election will mark the lowest turnout in the quarter-century history of the Islamic Republic.

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