Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Iran's New President: An anomaly?

Prospect - article_details: "In mid-July, astronomers announced that they had unexpectedly found a new planet, in the constellation of Cygnus. Unexpected because conditions in the new planet�s solar system looked wrong for the formation of planets. �It shouldn�t be there,� said Patrick Moore.

This was rather like the reaction of Iran experts to the unexpected election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Iranian presidency at the end of June. The accepted wisdom had been that former president Hashemi Rafsanjani would win. Surely there must have been something wrong with the results? There was probably some intimidation of voters and some ballot boxes were perhaps stuffed, particularly in more remote parts of the country. Some revolutionary guard corps generals have been accused of electoral fraud. And of course the vote was not properly free: only candidates approved by the hardline guardian council were allowed to stand. But a large majority of the 60 per cent who turned out in the last round of the elections voted for Ahmadinejad. He represents a genuine movement of opinion among the Iranian people."

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