NewsSpecial WireIran elections round-up

Iran elections round-up

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Iran Focus and wire services:
Iran Government Spokesman: Votes are being bought
New poll puts Tehran mayor ahead
Iran revolution ‘at stake’ in election: Rowhani Iran Focus and wire services

Iran Government Spokesman: Votes are being bought

Iran’s government alleged today that “certain organs” were buying votes in poorer areas of the Islamic republic ahead of this week’s presidential run-off election.

The government spokesman said incumbent President Mohammad Khatami was “very worried” ahead of Friday’s high-stakes clash between hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and conservative cleric Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

“The government has received reports on the distribution of funds by certain organs in the poorer areas of certain provinces with a specific aim in mind”, Abdollah Ramazanzadeh said, quoted by the state-run ISNA news agency.

Rafsanjani and defeated candidates Mostafa Moin and Mehdi Karroubi have all made unprecedented public allegations of dirty tricks ahead of last week’s first round, ranging from smear campaigns to vote-buying and vote-rigging on a massive scale.

These, they claim, were orchestrated by the powerful Revolutionary Guards, the Bassij militia and the Guardians Council – which acts as a veto-wielding electoral watchdog and dismissed the complaints after an extremely limited partial recount.

New poll puts Tehran mayor ahead

Forty-eight hours ahead of the second round of Iran’s presidential elections, an opinion poll conducted by Iranian Students Polling Centre put Ahmadinejad six points ahead of Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The poll of 3,435 respondents in twelve provinces found that Ahmadinejad had the support of 45 percent of likely voters, while Hashemi Rafsanjani came second with 39 percent.

Two previous polls also put the Tehran mayor ahead of Rafsanjani. The polls were conducted by institutions closely linked to the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Iran revolution ‘at stake’ in election: Rowhani

Iran’s top national security official warned today that the future of the Islamic republic and its revolution were at stake in this week’s run-off election.

Hassan Rowhani, Iran’s nuclear negotiator and a Rafsanjani ally, also threatened dirty tricks campaigners with a fierce backlash after Friday’s vote — in which Rafsanjani faces off with Ahmadinejad.

“Friday will be a decisive day for the country. The future of the country and the revolution are at stake”, he was quoted as saying by ISNA.

“Do you want to throw away the gains of the revolution? Do you want to relive the years of 1980 and 1981?” he warned, as he was visiting the holy city of Qom.

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