Thursday, June 18, 2009

Was Iran's election rigged? Here's what is known so far.

"In the biggest presidential election turnout in the history of the Islamic Republic, some 85 percent of Iran's electorate went to the polls last Friday and gave incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a landslide victory."

"Or did they?"

"Defeated challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi claims that the official result of 62.6 percent for Mr. Ahmadinejad and just 33.7 percent for him was a "dangerous charade," and has called for a new election. His newspaper, Kalameh Sabz, reported that more than 10 million votes were missing personal identification numbers that made the votes untraceable. He also says some polling stations closed prematurely, preventing some voters from casting ballots. "

"Results from 39.2 million handwritten ballots came much more swiftly than in previous votes, emerging within hours. Detailed election data typically released has not been made public."

"Iran's Supreme Leader sanctioned Ahmadinejad's victory after a day, instead of the customary three. "

"Earlier polls appeared to indicate a stronger showing for Ahmadinejad, who – though under fire for poor economic performance, a surge of inflation, and unemployment – had made 60 visits to Iran's provinces handing out cash and development projects."

"The final "official" figures, however, gave Ahmadinejad 24.5 million votes, and Mousavi 13.2 million. That result was a shock for many Iranians and analysts."

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