The Virtues Of Democracy
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Politics and Activism

The Virtues Of Democracy

A brief analysis of the 2009 Iranian Presidential Elections

The Virtues Of Democracy

Factors such as transparent and well-managed election day polling, freely operating political parties, and a society that encourages full citizen participation are all signs of a healthy democracy.

If one were to analyze the 2009 Iranian presidential election, it would become obvious that factors such as polling station supervision and premature result announcement were all predecessors that played a role in the outcome of the election. Considering the aforementioned elements, observers of the 2009 Iranian presidential election were confident that fraud played a role in the outcome. One question Iranian citizens may have asked themselves while concurring that the 2009 presidential election was fraudulent is, was the voting properly supervised? Per usual in Iranian elections, the Interior Ministry ran the 2009 presidential election (Mebane). Ministry, local leaders, and government officials in each ward monitored the election process, however; there were no independent election observers to validate the integrity of the election. Another factor Iranians considered when concluding that the election was deceitful is, how smoothly did the act of voting go? According to John Leyne, high voter turnout was key in assuring Ahmadinejad as the first president in the history of the Iranian Republic to fail to secure reelection (Leyne). TIME Magazine reports that a number of voting stations in the northwest and south ran out of ballots according to Mousavi campaign officials, ultimately disproving the validity of the election and suggesting fraud. Another factor to contemplate when considering the fraudulence of the election is the minuscule amount of time it took for the Iranian state-run news outlet to declare Ahmadinejad’s reelection. According to Juan Cole’s article Stealing the Iranian Election, “The Electoral Commission is supposed to wait three days before certifying the results of the election, at which point they are to inform Supreme Leader Khamenei of the results, and he signs off on the process.” (Cole). The three-day interval is envisioned to permit charges of abnormalities to be arbitrated. In this case, Khamenei instantaneously sanctioned the alleged results. Since it only took two hours for the results to be processed and announced, it is evident to Iranian citizens that adequate time was not taken to process the election results, therefore suggesting fraudulency. A final element Iranian citizens factored into their assumptions about the 2009 election was the strangeness of the vote totals. An article titled “A Hollow Victory” states, “Yes. Support for Ahmadinejad was strangely consistent across the country, a real change from previous elections, when candidates drew different levels of support in different regions” (The Economist). There were multiple aspects of the vote totals that puzzled Iranians, ultimately adding to the argument supporting the presence of fraud in the 2009 election. On account of elements such as voter fraud and party influence, Iranian observers such as voters and political scientists righteously branded the 2009 presidential elections as fraudulent.

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