Ahmadinejad Wins Iran Elections With Landslide
In 85% eligible voter turnout, democracy record election.
Iran media has reported that incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won the June 12th Presidential elections in Iran. In his landslide victory, the incumbent is reported to have even defeated chief rival, Mousavi, winning 57% of the vote in Mousavi’s own hometown.
Defeat for Obama?
This may mean a loss for Obama, as his speech to the Muslim world targeted just before this election is seen as a direct attempt to influence the results of Iran’s elections.
Update: Civil Unrest
Since Ahmadinejads landslide victory, there have been daily rally’s and remarkable civil unrest in Iran’s capital, Tehran, one of the only localities where Mousavi lead according to polls and election results. Many are disgruntled because of the economic hardships in Iran. The issue here according to experts is that these hardships are not a result of the current policies of the government, but rather a result of US and western sanctions against Iran, in effort to stall their progress toward nuclear energy generation, which several US security bodies and UN inspectors have asserted is a peaceful program. A developmental path that chief rival, Mousavi, like Ahmadinejad, actually promises to continue.
Update June 18th 2009: CNN-Ahmadinejad lead 2-1 in pre-election survey
(CNN) — In a recent article published both in the Washington Post and the Guardian, Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty reported that according to their “nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote … Ahmadinejad [was] leading by a more than 2-to-1 margin — greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election.” -CNN
Update June 17th 2009: Iran claims foreign radio broadcasts into Iran purposely inciting violence
The Iranian government has accused the United States of meddling and deliberately inciting violence through what they called a US Voice of America (VOA) radio, aggressive campaign broadcast in Iran. The US has denied these allegations.
Update June 17th 2009: Venezuela President, Hugo Chavez backs results
Venezuela’s leader Hugo Chavez has squarely backed Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after his re-election and labeled protests a foreign-backed “smear campaign.“
Venezuela “expresses its strong opposition to the terrible and unfounded smear campaign,“ waged “from outside,“ said a statement from the foreign ministry in Caracas on Tuesday, AFP reported.
The attacks seek to “stir up the political climate,“ the ministry added.
Amid street violence between opposition supporters and government forces, Ahmadinejad’s closest rival, former premier Mir Hossein Mousavi, has branded Friday’s election a vote-rigged “charade.“
Venezuela said it deplored “these acts of interference in Iran’s internal affairs, while demanding an immediate halt to the intimidation and destabilization (efforts) against the Islamic Revolution.“
Following the election, fierce US critic Chavez was quick to telephone his counterpart Ahmadinejad to congratulate him, saying the victory “represents the feeling and commitment of the Iranian people to building a new world.” source
Update June 16th 2009: Obama says US must not meddle
US president, Obama says that given the history of US Iran relations, it would not be productive for his presidency to meddle in Iranian elections. It would be recalled that Obama in his June Cairo speech admitted to the US meddling and disrupting a past Iranian democratic election outcome.
Update of post election activity, June 16th 2009, Aljazeera
Ahmadinejad landed in Yakaterinburg for the Shanghai Co-Operation Organisation (SCO), in which Iran has observer status.
“We welcome the fact that elections took place, we welcome the new president on Russian soil and see it as symbolic that he made his first visit to Russia,” Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, told reporters after Ahmadinejad’s arrival.
“This allows hope for progress in bilateral relations,” he said.
Ahmadinejad wins Iran election in landslide
Ahmadinejad took 62.63 per cent of the vote, crushing Mir Hossein Mousavi, his main rival, who got just 33.75 per cent, according to results released on Saturday.
Al Jazeera’s Teymoor Nabili, reporting from Tehran, said: “The state media have declared victory for Ahmadinejad and he not only won, he blew Mousavi away.”
Mousavi had claimed victory just moments after polls closed on Friday.
“In line with the information we have received, I am the winner of this election by a substantial margin,” he said. “We expect to celebrate with people soon.”
IRNA, Iran’s official news agency, announced that Ahmadinejad had won re-election.
“Doctor Ahmadinejad, by getting a majority of the votes, has become the definite winner of the 10th presidential election,” it reported.
Aljazeera: A walk through the timeline of events:
From the opening of the polling stations on Friday morning, the length of the queues suggested something unusual was under way.
By the time the Guardian Council began speaking in the early evening of a turnout approaching 70 per cent, most people had concluded even this was a low-ball estimate.Opinions having long gelled around the proposition that high turnout equals reformist victory, the mood among journalists gathering at the interior ministry – roads blocked, access restricted, riot police in evidence – was of anticipation and bemusement.
Could it be that, yet again, an outside candidate had come from behind to win in the first round?
Word was circulating that Mir Hossein Mousavi, the main reformist challenger, would be giving a press conference late on Friday night when, at 11pm [18:30 GMT], the ministry press room was told to expect Kamran Daneshjou, the elections chief.
Few people anticipated much more than general background information, and perhaps some hints as to the progress of the count; it was assumed to be far too early for any definitive results.
Daneshjou failed to appear. Instead, a buzz spread around the room. The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) had a new lead story: Ahmadinejad was streaking ahead in the vote in the countryside.
IRNA is a government controlled agency, and some of the local media were sceptical of the story.
But the pro-Ahmadinejad camp was lifted in particular by the claim that the city of Rafsanjan, home town of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president, had voted 90 per cent in favour of Ahmadinejad.
They were relishing the symbolism of such a heavy rejection of the arch foe.
Moments later word came through that Mousavi had held a news conference to declare outright victory.
A senior member of his campaign told me that their election monitors at polling stations were certain that the trend strongly favoured their candidate.
Moments later, at 11.50pm [19:20 GMT], Daneshjou appeared.
We were told there would be no questions. The counting so far, he said, involved 8,000 ballot boxes, some five million votes, and the returns showed Ahmadinejad with 69 per cent of the vote and challenger Mousavi with less than 30 per cent.
The pattern had been established. As in US presidential elections, it would be the television stations and news wires that led with figures that would only later be confirmed by the interior ministry.
Mousavi’s claim of victory was quickly rejected by the interior ministry [Reuters]
The state-run TV station is regarded as a reliable reflection of official numbers, and the news from sources inside was that they were close to declaring outright victory for Ahmadinejad.At 12.20am [19:50 GMT], Daneshjou had an update.
A further 8,000 boxes had been counted in the past 30 minutes, and the president was still leading with almost 69 per cent of the vote.
At this point, one of the more alert journalists pointed out that the initial announcement had spoken of “baazshomari” – recounting.
The numbers we were hearing were not a running tally, but a reconfirmation of what was an already established result.
Indeed, not long after, the Ahmadinejad camp not only declared outright victory, but framed its claims in historic terms: this victory erased the record turnout that had swept Mohammad Khatami, the previous reformer, to power in 1997, and confirmed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a principalist, as the most popular leader in the history of the Islamic Republic.
Breakdown of the vote in individual districts was still patchy, but there were a few results that raised eyebrows.
Ahmadinejad had apparently taken the northwestern city of Tabriz with some ease.
Tabriz is the heart of East Azerbaijan, and Azeris are among the tightest ethnic groups in the country, unfailingly voting along ethnic lines.
In the 2005 presidential election, Mohsen Mehralizadeh was a largely unknown and wholly unsuccessful candidate. He came in seventh and last, and yet he still won the Azeri vote in the Azerbaijani provinces. Mir Hossein Mousavi is an Azeri from Tabriz.
Elsewhere, Mehdi Karroubi failed to take his home state of Lorestan; in Khuzestan, Mohsen Rezai, a local scion, was expecting at least two million votes. His total for the entire country has failed to breach one million.
And with each updated count, Ahmadinjad’s lead did not waver from a very stable range of 66-69 per cent, irrespective of which districts were reporting.
After 3am [22:30 GMT], the interior ministry went quiet for the night. Out on the streets, some groups of youths were driving the streets in celebration. But not 69 per cent of them.