Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Election Countdown:17 days

So, election is near and everywhere people are talking about it. And in less that a month Iranians will decide wether or not they want to have Ahmadinejad four another 4 years in their lives.
He is an established populist which makes a very good candidate in a relatively poor country like Iran. He had all the money from exceptionally high oil income in the past 4 years to spend for his campaign by travelling to poor places and giving out money. Yes... as simple as that... just gathering people and giving them gifts and money, as if he is the owner of a charity institution.
So, in a nutshell, here's the deal. He has the vote of two category of people. These poor people who are so in need of the basics (a situation aggravated by Ahmadinejad's policies) who can not see further than tomorrow, and those who vote to whoever is implicitly approved by The Leader. These two groups constitute about half the estimated number of voters.
On the other hand there are those with the dilemma, who are growingly drawn to voting, because of how much they despise Admadinejad. These people are divided into two groups, those in favour of Mousavi and those who prefer Karoubi. Of course there is a fourth candidate, Rezayi, who is not predicted to play a critical role.
In theory at least, it is not important that people against Ahmadinejad are divided in two groups. According to Iranian election rules, a candidate can only win to presidency if they can have more than half of the votes. So, even if Ahmadinejad fails to get more than half the votes, just because more than half voted for somebody else (no matter which other candidate), there will be a second round of elections, in which the two top voted candidates will compete. Then, one can be hopeful that people who voted against Ahmadinejad in the first round, will vote again, and again against him.
The interesting fact is that, if such scenario happens, whoever is elected instead of Ahmadinejad, will be president, not because people necessarily want him to, but rather because they no longer want some body else. And this is exactly how Ahmadinejad became president in the first place, not because people wanted him to, but because they didn't want Rafsanjani.

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