Iran has a new president, but a question mark remains over the nation’s future

Editorial: The elections were hardly democratic, but the will of the Iranian people cannot be suppressed altogether

Saturday 19 June 2021 21:30
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<p>Ebrahim Raisi, the not-so-surprising winner of the Iranian election</p>

Ebrahim Raisi, the not-so-surprising winner of the Iranian election

The election of Ebrahim Raisi as Iranian president tells us nothing that we need to know about how the regime will engage with the issues that really matter to the country and to the rest of the world. It was expected that he would win the election, which seemed to have been engineered to produce the outcome that the theocrats wanted.

The weeding of candidates by the Guardian Council was more blatant than usual this time, prompting some of those excluded, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a former president, to complain publicly. This is a reminder both that there is still an element of free speech in Iran, and that its form of democracy is unworthy of the name.

Many Iranians seem to have followed Mr Ahmadinejad’s example in refusing to vote, a form of passive protest that resulted in turnout being down from 70 per cent, four years ago, to 49 per cent.

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