The names of candidates approved by the Guardian Council to serve as President in the upcoming sham Presidential election were announced by the Iranian regime’s interior ministry. All of the aspirants have been purged by the Guardian Council, with the exception of seven of the regime’s most loyal officials to the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
“Khamenei took steps to consolidate the regime and maximize repression by purging presidential candidates who had participated in all of the regime’s crimes over the past 40 years,” stated Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). This is a clear indication of the regime’s overthrow problem and the end of the religious, terrorist dictatorship.”
Mrs. Rajavi also urged for a widespread boycott of the election farce in Iran. The Iranian leadership has expressed concern about the possibility of a record low voter turnout in the upcoming election. Various remarks aired by the regime’s state-run media channels in recent weeks reflect this viewpoint.
On 25 April, the daily newspaper Hamdeli, which is closely affiliated with a “hardline” political movement, stated that “non-participation in the election poses a serious obstacle to all candidates.” The same piece warned of the “social consequences” of widespread non-participation, which regime authorities are particularly concerned about in the light of recent nationwide protests.
In their warning about the possibility of a widespread boycott of the sham election, Hamdeli specifically mentioned the 2019 uprising. Other outlets, such as Jahan-e Sanat, have done the same, emphasizing the unaddressed issues associated with each recent protest movement.
“A large part of society has boycotted elections due to mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis, economic woes, pressure on people’s livelihoods, and officials’ negligence regarding the social events of January 2018 and November 2019,” it wrote in a different article published on 25 April. “Given the current situation, a large voter turnout is unlikely.”
That remark is noteworthy because it emphasizes the common threads that run through both upheavals, the upcoming electoral boycott, and the reality that a sizable segment of the public has already “boycotted elections.”
The success of the boycott movement that followed the regime’s legislative elections in February 2020 contributed to widespread expectations of poor attendance on 18 June. Even official government statistics, which are sometimes inflated in such things, admitted that less than half of eligible voters cast ballots in that election, making it the regime’s most unpopular election in its 40-year history.
The MEK resistance units have been particularly active in the election boycott campaign, despite the fact that they are well aware that doing so could result in them being imprisoned, prosecuted, tortured, or even executed.
Nevertheless, state-run media continues to express warning concerns about the possibility of a widespread boycott leading to an uprising. The conditions behind that prospect are “a great danger,” according to the daily newspaper Sharq, and if they are not removed from Iranian society, the consequence will be “crushing” for the regime’s leadership.