Both genuine options and democratic instruments that make the public visible are absent in Iran, which explains why the Iranian people regard the political system as completely illegitimate.
In recent weeks, a rising number of embittered groups have openly and bravely called for a boycott of the June 18 presidential election farce, whose plight has been exacerbated by the coronavirus’s devastation as well as widespread state mismanagement and corruption.
Scholars in political science have long recognized that “elections” and authoritarian regimes are not necessarily exclusive. Many dictatorial regimes have used “election” charades to retaliate against opponents. In reality, the Mullahs use election pageantry to project an illusory sense of legitimacy. Election becomes selection under dictatorship.
The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and his administration control the vast majority of political, economic, and social resources in the country. The presidential election is a convenient way for Khamenei to distribute a small portion of the spoils of war against the Iranian people to different regime factions.
However, the restless Iranian people are not passive, as shown by slogans such as “Reformists, hardliners, the game is now ever.”
The election this year follows a series of major social turmoil, including uprisings in 2017, 2018, and 2019, which shook the system to its foundation. Many experts say the dictatorship is at the most vulnerable stage in its 40-year history.
Khamenei’s regime is unable to respond to a dynamic network of changing public demands, while also demonstrating a growing inability to reach a durable equilibrium among internal feuding factions in order to ensure long-term stability. Meanwhile, more public demonstrations loom in the background, posing a new threat to the regime’s survival.
In light of this, the government has lined up candidates accused of terrorism, crime against humanity, genocide, war crimes, and plunder over the last four decades. Ebrahim Raisi, the mass killer, and Ali Larijani, the IRGC commander-turned-Parliament Speaker, have all a track record of terror.
Ebrahim Raisi, a mass murderer who is now Khamenei’s favorite and the regime’s Judiciary Chief, is the favorite candidate. He was one of four officials selected by Khomeini in 1988 as Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran to carry out his notorious fatwa to massacre imprisoned dissidents. Within a few months, up to 30,000 political prisoners, many associated with the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), were summarily executed.
The other, IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Larijani was a key figure in the devastating eight-year Iran-Iraq war. For a decade, Larijani was the president of the state broadcasting network (IRIB), and he was known for censorship.
The upcoming election farce is another attack on Iranian society and perpetuates the brutality of their actions.
The people have chosen to boycott the election facade of the mullahs. As they have repeatedly expressed their will, they vote to overthrow the oppressive theocracy, establish a democratic revolution, and restore the sovereignty of the people.