Omid Memarian

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Last Supper for reformist lawmakers

What do you think about the atmosphere surrounding the elections in Tehran? Today is Thursday and like any other weekend the streets are full of young people going to restaurants or taking walks in the park. The time for campaigning for the elections is over and you can see the pictures of the candidates on the walls. Not a lot of people are paying too much attention. During these days conservatives tried every method to encourage people to participate in the election. They announced all the time on the TV and radio that is their religious and spiritual duty to vote. They showed many interviews with people in the streets who will take in part in the election. But as in the past, many citizens know that all of these things are just for show. It is hard to believe the conservatives use these mechanisms to mobilize people in the streets 25 years after the revolution. If you pay attention to the words of conservatives you can only hear the word “people” not “citizens”. Do you know why? Because they don’t believe in the rights of the citizen. They only believe in the rules of a populist political system and nothing more.
I guess the number of people that will actually vote in the election in Tehran will be between 20 and 30 per cent ,and in the provinces about 50- 70, due to the issue of ethnicity. The conservatives crave to have more than 50 percent. Just 1 percent more than 50 and they will celebrate.
Will tonight will be the last supper for reformist lawmakers? Or conservatives? Who knows?


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