The ultraconservative current swept through a parliamentary election in Iran in which there was the least participation since the birth of the Islamic Republic. 42% of the electorate went to the polls on Friday, a figure that was reduced to 25% in the case of Tehran, numbers far removed from previous elections such as the 2016 legislative, when it stood at 62%, or the presidential elections of 2017, of 73%. The Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, denounced a foreign media campaign to “discourage” voters when they go to the polls and included “propaganda” about the arrival of the coronavirus in the country, which has already caused eight deaths, as part of that campaign. Voters did not respond to the leader’s calls to vote because it is a “religious obligation” and with their abstention they sent a clear message to the power dome.
The Interior Minister, responsible for making the results public, lamented that “we have held these elections when we have had various incidents in the country.” Iran lives in a severe economic crisis due to the punishments imposed by Donald Trump, which has already caused several outbursts of protests, and the malaise in the streets worsened in January after the regime’s lies about the demolition of the Ukrainian passenger plane.
At least 256 seats, of the 290 that make up the camera, will be in the hands of ultraconservatives. One of the most spectacular turns occurred in Tehran, where the 30 seats assigned to the capital will become deputies of this current, while in the last legislature they were moderate or reformist politicians. The massive purge of the Council of Guardians, which vetoed 9,000 moderate or reformist candidates, opened the door for the change of control in parliament and the strong abstention completed the turn towards a current that returns the parliament to the era of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These results represent a setback for the opening policy for which President Hasán Rohani has opted since he came to power, who will have to live in the last months of his term with a camera in the hands of his political opposition within the regime.