Apathy Towards Upcoming Parliamentary Masquerade; Rouhani’s Desperate Push for a High Turnout; Guardian Council’s Response

The first Majlis election was the best one in which the MEK participated

As the religious dictatorship’s parliamentary election masquerade draws closer, the mullahs’ President, Hassan Rouhani, keenly aware of the apathy towards this farce and concerned over a general boycott, desperately tried to encourage a large turnout.

While one of the most senior officials of the ruling theocracy in the past 40 years, Rouhani said on October 9, 2019, “You cannot find a better Majlis (Parliament) than the first one because even the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) fielded candidates,” describing it as an imperative to political excitement.

An hour later, the Spokesman for the Supreme Leader’s subservient Guardian Council describe Rouhani’s remarks as being against the Constitution.

Speaking at the Cabinet session, Rouhani said, “Those in charge of implementing and supervising [the election] must act in such a way as to encourage the public’s political excitement… The first Islamic Council (Parliament) was the best one. You cannot find anything better than that. There was no supervision like today. There was no Guardian Council that would oversee like today. There were no supervisory offices. Everyone registered. Even the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) registered. The MEK had the right to register… Don’t be so strict. Do not exert pressure, thinking that if we make the filter tighter and if we squeeze the funnel harder, we would get better results. Leave the people alone.”

In a tweet, Abbas-Ali Kadkhoda’i, the Spokesman for the Guardian Council, wrote, “Remarks by Rouhani, whose oath of office was to uphold the Constitution, disregard the Constitution and the laws governing the elections,” adding that the President “must invite everyone to implement the letter of the law and refrain from creating political anticipation and urging entities to violate the law.”

Rouhani made those remarks while the so-called reformist faction’s theoreticians are expressing frustration over the public’s disdain toward that faction and the outcome of the parliamentary election. Saeed Hajjarian, who is close to the former President Mohammad Khatami’s faction, was quoted by the state-run daily Sobh-e No on October 9th as saying, “Those belonging to the middle ground have been weakened and morphed into two extremes. One side, which has given up, says the Islamic Republic should no longer exist. And the other side insists on preserving the status quo despite all its deficiencies. The extremists will essentially not vote. The middle ground is extremely weakened. So, the competition will be between those safeguarding the status quo and the extremist factions [rejecting the system].”

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

October 11, 2019

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