Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiSaturday, February 21, 2004
<b>Nearly 50 Percent of Voters Turned Out, Defeating Reformists' Boycott of the Majles Elections</b>
• Nearly half of the eligible voters stuffed ballot boxes across Iran with votes for the conservative candidates and their allies, defeating the reformist parties who, following the Guardians Councils' mass disqualification of their candidates, had called for a national boycott of yesterday's elections. The uncontested races mostly involved multiple conservative candidates running against each other, as no reformists was allowed to contest 190 of the 290 Majles seats. The unofficial websites of the two factions put the turnout at 45 percent to 53 percent of eligible voters. The Guardians Council announced the winners of 159 Majles seats, adding that in 20 electoral districts, where no candidate won more then 25 percent of the votes, runoff elections will be held. The turnout was lowest in Tehran, where less than 30 percent of the voters showed up. Majles Speaker Mehdi Karrubi and his fellow society of reformist clerics' member Majid Ansari, who had brokered a deal with the Guardians Council prior to the election to reinstate some of the banned reformist candidates, did not receive enough votes to keep their Majles seats.
• In Tehran, 2.3 million, or 30 percent of the eligible voters turned out, according to the interior ministry. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
• About 170 ran for Isfahan's Majles seats, an Isfahan resident tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The radio kept saying that everyone can go to vote, even people without picture IDs, even those who turned 15 yesterday, he adds. There were hardly any women candidates, and the right-wing clerics appeared without their turbans in their campaign posters. Most notable in the city was that the people took campaign posters off the walls and tore them to pieces. The city streets were strewn with torn up campaign posters, he adds. A Zanjani resident tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the turnout was not less than previous elections, and there were plenty of qualified candidates to choose from. Qazvin-based journalist <b>Mohammad Khankoli</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that all the reformist candidates had been disqualified in Qazvin. The race was only among the right-wing candidates, and the elections were dull and lackluster. Kerman-based journalist <b>Shahram Parsa-Motlaq</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that since a few reformists were allowed to run for the Kerman seats in the Majles, their face-off with their right-wing rivals had created a real race in the city and the turnout out was higher than 50 percent. One candidate from the reformist side and one from the conservative side were expected to win, he adds. In Jiroft, another Kerman province town, where competition has always been tight, the voters appeared to favor the reformist candidate, he adds. Mazandaran province based reporter <b>Bina Darab-Zand</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that in Nowshar and Chaloos, there was no activity in the voting centers until 11 AM yesterday morning. Since the start of the elections' campaigns, the people kept tearing down the candidates' posters and toppled billboard towers. I did not see any voter in several voting centers I checked, he adds. The boycott appeared to have taken hold in this area, he says. Secretary of Tehran's Elm-va-Sanat University's Islamic student council <b>Seyyed Baqer Zaki-Uskui</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that nobody appeared to be voting in the election center set up in a remote corner of the campus. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
• The rate of turnout in the Gilan province was reported as 51 percent, Rasht-based journalist <b>Kambiz Karimi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Most of the Gilan province Majles seats were won by the conservative candidates, he adds. The election results were astounding, because most of the winners were totally unknown prior to the elections, he says. (Farin Asemi)
• The outcome of these elections, the results of which appear to be contrary to the actual low turnout, would increase the militancy of the Majles and the society, Tehran University law professor and constitutional reform advocate <b>Qasem Shoaleh-Saadi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. With the total elimination of all competition, the elections' result was to be expected. Since many of the Majles seats were won by former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' commanders, an atmosphere of political oppression is expected to takeover the country after these elections, he adds. We shall soon face a militaristic atmosphere and judicial violence against all dissent, he adds. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• The reformists' defeat in the elections is only the defeat of a faction of the regime, and should not be taken as the defeat of the people's resistance against the regime, Johns Hopkins University's English literature professor and author of the bestseller <i>Reading Lolita in Tehran</i> <b>Azar Nafisi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The struggle of the Iranian people is beyond the factional squabble within the regime, she adds. The defeat of one faction is not the defeat of the people. We should learn to rely on ourselves, not an elite group of government officials. We would be doomed to fail, if we wait for a superman to come for rescue, she adds. (Shahran Tabari, London)
• The elections' result in Marivan, a Kurdistan town that was the scene of violent anti-regime demonstrations, does not appear to reflect the reality. In the most crowded voting center only 200 cast ballots, but the government announced that the 32,000 voted in the city, which is a lie, a Marivan-based journalist tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Farin Asemi)
• In the Kurdish cities of Marivan and Bukan, the people tore up campaign posters, staged demonstrations, ransacked the local campaign headquarters of the conservative candidates and clashed with the police, secretary-general of the leftist Kurdish party Komeleh <b>Abdollah Motamedi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The young people gathered around voting centers in Sanandaj, Mahabad, Marivan, Bukan, Saqez and many other Kurdish towns in order to convince non-natives who turned out to vote to join the election boycott, he adds. (Ali Sajjadi)
• The takeover of the Majles by the conservative faction in a society where there are no parties is of course disappointing, <b>Michael Bell</b>, of Toronto University's Munk Center for International Studies tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Maryam Aghvami, Toronto)
• The state-run radio-TV monopoly appears to be following the outmoded propaganda techniques, based on persuasion and repetition, which develops negative reactions in the audience, Sweden-based former staff member of the Islamic Republic TV's political deputy's office <b>Omid Habibinia</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The radio-TV's recent use of songs with nationalistic content, such as Los Angeles-based singer Dariush's “I'll Build You Over, My Beloved Country,” may be a good ploy to attract the attention of the jaded TV audience, but may have the opposite of the intended effect, he adds. (Siavash Ardalan)
• As a result of the incessant propaganda by the state-run radio-TV monopoly, the elections' turnout in the city of Mashhad was 15 percent more than the expected rate, and the conservative faction may consider this a victory, Mashhad-based political commentator and a disqualified reformist candidacy applicant <b>Mohammad-Sadeq Javadi-Hesar</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The radio and TV did all they could to boost the turnout, including falsely portraying participation in the elections as a campaign against the US, he adds. The last-minute announcements by some reformist groups urging participation in the elections may have boosted the turnout, he adds. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• The conservatives rejoiced in winning a race that was not, Tehran-based reporter <b>Kiarash Tehrani</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Contrary to the regime's propaganda, the people did not vote for the conservatives. The civil servants, military personnel, factory workers, high school students and retired government employees feared persecution and felt obligated to vote, and mostly cast blank ballots only to have their IDs stamped, he adds. Nobody can be proud of winning a race in which the competition was banned from participating, he says. The results of the elections in which all internationally accepted norms had been violated cannot be considered a measure of popularity for any faction, he adds. (Maryam Ahmadi)
• The Majles elections were in fact appointments, San Francisco-based human rights activist <b>Mohsen Nezhad</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Amir Armin)
• The key to the normalization of US-Iran relations the US officials' recognition of the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic, secretary of the right-wing Jam'iat Mo'talefeh-ye Eslami Habibollah Asgharoladi said in an interview with Swiss reporter Michael Veraze. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
• Yesterday's Majles elections ended the illusion of democracy, veteran London-based journalist Amir Taheri told Arabic daily <i>Asharq-ol-Awsat</i>. (Farideh Rahbar)
• The Guardians Council hailed the voter turnout is a statement proclaiming the next Majles as a powerful institution led by spiritual values. (Leyli Arman)
• In several cities of the Khuzestan and Fars province, the elections were followed by violent demonstrations and clashes with the police, as supporters of the losing candidates attacked government offices and set fire to cars and broke bank windows. A student, a homemaker and shop owner in the Khuzestan town of Izeh give <b>Radio Farda</b> eyewitness reports about the clashes, which involved police helicopters. (Shireen Famili, Ali Sajjadi)
• <b>Radio Farda</b> aired summaries of articles about the elections in French daily <i>Liberation</i>, Italian dailies <i>La Republica</i> and Courier della Sera</i>, several German and Austrian dailies, and US dailies the <i>Los Angeles Times</i>, the <i>New York Times</i>, the <i>Baltimore Sun</i> and the <i>Philadelphia Inquirer</i>.
• Five young Tehran residents, introduced only with their first names, take part in a youth roundtable about the elections in a special program aired after midnight on Saturday. (Leyli Sadr)
شيرين فاميلي (راديو فردا): يك روز پس از پايان فرآيند راي گيري در جمهوري اسلامي، نيروهاي سياسي و افكار عمومي بي صبرانه منتظر نتايج نهايي اين انتخابات هستند. اگرچه هنوز پيش بيني نهايي از نتيجه انتخابات زود است، اما گزارشهاي پراكنده در طول روز منتشر شده اند، حاكي از جلوافتادن نامزدهاي جناح محافظه كار از معدود رقيبان سياسي خود، بويژه در شهرهاي كوچك.
فريدون زرنگار (راديو فردا): به گزارش خبرگزاري دولتي دانشجويان ايران، ايسنا، شمارش آرا در 139 حوزه انتخابيه پايان يافت كه بر اساس نتايج آن، 12 ميليون و ده هزار و ششصد و هفتاد و پنج نفر راي داده اند. همين خبرگزاري مي نويسد: با پايان شمارش آرا در بسياري از حوزه ها، انتخاب 159 نماينده دوره هفتم مجلس شوراي اسلامي قطعي شده است.
به نوشته سايت بازتاب، كه گفته مي شود نزديك به محسن رضايي، دبير مجمع تشخيص مصلحت نظام است، ميزان كل شركت كنندگان در انتخابات مجلس هفتم حدود 5/24 ميليون نفر معادل 53 درصد كل واجدين شرايط است. بنابر همين گزارش در تهران حدود يك ميليون و 900 هزار نفر راي داده اند كه اين ميزان حدود 32 درصد واجدين شرايط راي دادن است.
اين در حالي است كه سايت خبري رويداد كه نزديك به اصلاح طلبان است، آماري كاملا متفاوت ارائه مي دهد. به نوشته اين سايت خبري، ميزان مشاركت در انتخابات مجلس هفتم در ميان 24 انتخابات گذشته در جمهوري اسلامي، تنها از انتخابات سومين دوره مجلس خبرگان رهبري در سال 77 بيشتر است و حتي از انتخابات شوراها در سال گذشته نيز پايينتر است.
به گزارش رويداد، آخرين برآوردها از ميزان مشاركت در انتخابات حاكي از حضور 45 تا 47 درصد از واجدين شرايط حق راي در انتخابات بوده است. ميزان مشاركت در تمامي شهرهاي بزرگ كشور كمتر از 30 درصد و در تهران اندكي بيش از 20 درصد واجدين شرايط است.
اما گزارشهاي تاييد نشده وزارت كشور ميزان شركت كنندگان در راي گيري را بين 45 تا 48 درصد در سطح كشور و در تهران حدود 28 درصد تخمين مي زنند. اين ميزان با آماري كه محمد علي ابطحي، معاون رئيس جمهوري داده است نيز نزديك است. آقاي ابطحي ميزان شركت كنندگان در راي گيري روز گذشته در تهران و در سراسر كشور را به ترتيب حدود 29 و 50 درصد اعلام كرده است.
گزارشهاي تاييد نشده همچنين حاكي از آنند كه بيش از 90 نفر از راه يافتگان به مجلس از ليست ائتلاف خدمتگذاران مستقل ايران اسلامي هستند كه ليست وابسته به محافظه كاران است. گفته مي شود در تهران سي نفر اول داراي بيشترين آرا از وابستگان به محافظه كاران هستند و مهدي كروبي، رئيس مجلس شوراي اسلامي و ديگر نمايندگان اصلاح طلب نتوانستند در دور اول به مجلس راه يابند. آمار غير رسمي سايت هاي اينترنتي وابسته به دوجناح محافظه كار و اصلاح طلب حاكي است كه بين 45 درصد تا 53 درصد از واجدين شرايط راي دادن در انتخابات ديروز شركت كردند. هيچكدام از نامزدهاي وابسته به شاخه روحانيت جناح اصلاح طلب، از جمله حجت الاسلام مهدي كروبي، رئيس كنوني مجلس، نتوانست راي كافي بياورد. 30 كرسي نمايندگي تهران از محافظه كاران انباشته شد و 90 تن از فهرست خدمتگذاران مستقل وابسته به جناح محافظه كار نيز به مجلس راه يافتند. شمارش هاي اوليه در 139 حوزه انتخابي به پايان رسيد و تكليف 159 كرسي مجلس قطعيت يافت. وزارت كشور ميزان شركت كنندگان در راي گيري را بين 45 تا 48 درصد در سطح كشور و در تهران حدود 28 درصد تخمين مي زند.