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Iran: bloggers mull election results

With election authorities now ordering a partial recount and a run-off between Rafsanjani and the conservative Ahmadinejad scheduled for this coming Friday, bloggers continue to chew over the results and disagree about what to do next.

From Teheran, Hossein Derakhshan (Hoder) writes of “the coming coup.” He says: “

All non-fundamentalists are rallying behind Rafsanjani. Many are talking about a possible coup by Sepah [the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps] and Basij [army and police] after Friday‘s second round results.

In another post he writes of one possible silver lining coming out of the elections:

One good thing about an Ahmadinejad term could be that it would end the apathy among the youth born after the Iran-Iraq war.

Hoder will probably stay in Iran for a couple more days, but says he probably can't stay longer and hints at concerns for his own safety.

Mr. Behi, now in Ahwaz on business with a lost cellphone, remains terribly upset.

“Windsteed” at Iran Votes 2005 writes:

I have received reports from a number of towns that Basij (Sepah's militia) are active there trying to encourage people to vote for Ahmadi Nejad on Friday. This is done in a variety of ways including offering poeple money and clothes and provoking their “sense of dignity”. These reports come from these Iranian towns: Klardasht, Lahijan, Asataneh, Birjand, Neyshabour, Garmsar, Varamin, and Zanjan. In one case, I am told, that Basijis personally approach peoples’ houses, asking for the ‘man/elder of the household’ to come to talk to them. Then, they go on to give advise to the men that if they feel responsibility towards their family members, especially their women (Namouss) they must vote for Ahmadi Nejad, who will, they claim, protect their honour.

Iranian expats discuss:
Little Black Fish, writing from Canada, calls for a boycott on Rafsanjani in Friday's upcoming runoff, despite the fact that he'll be facing off against the conservative hard-liner, Ahmadinejad:

Although I believe Ahmadi will ruin the country but this will be short time and the crisis will shoot them out of the power forever. Rafsanjani will not initiate any true reform and will constanslty but silently bite the soul of this land.

S'CAN IRANIC disagrees:

I am not sure if the situation gets worse fixing the present system or replacing it with a democratic regime will be easier, in fact it might become more difficult. Nor do I believe that Rafsanjani would necessarily heed the call for reforming the system fundamentally. I just propose that by considering him instead of Ahmadinejad, the reformists and the pro-referendum camps might be able to sit aback, regroup, and plan a better strategy as Iranians will have to go to the polls again for the municipal councils and parliamentary elections during the next three years.

Jafar Rezaei, guest author at Free Thoughts on Iran (a “collective project of a group of Iranian students” mainly living outside Iran) has a long analysis of the results and calls for boycott of the next election round:

…old excuses will be repeated again for certain in the coming days to justify this mistake. If we still insist on remaining blind, only worse kinds of defeat will await us in the future. By rejecting a total boycott democracy in Iran lost an important battle on Friday. There would not be another such an opportune moment in the near future. This chance was missed. There is now the time to cut the losses and begin the real grass-root struggle for a referendum. The first step must be the boycott of the second round of this “elections.” It is finally time to understand the simple fact that freedom is not free.

Yaser at Free Thoughts on Iran disagrees. He thinks an Ahmadinejad victory will mean “the return of facism.”

One lesson from the June 17th election is the failure of boycott strategy. People's civil disobedience in order to get to democracy is just a dream. Boycotting the upcoming run-off is nothing just helping Ahamdinejad to run the country toward Fascism. Those who want other than Fascism have no choice but voting the other candidate, whoever he is.

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