Sunday , 21 April 2024

Officials Accused of Falsifying Ballots in Kurdistan as Voters Stay Away

Iranwire – The atmosphere at polling stations in the Kurdish hometown of Mahsa Amini during Friday’s election was eerily quiet, IranWire witnesses reported. 

In some areas, the number of votes cast barely exceeded 50 ballots by the afternoon, highlighting a notable lack of enthusiasm among voters.

Fraud and vote-buying were also reported in Saqqez, including cases where officials used people’s national ID cards to cast votes without them being present.

Many activists, groups, and organizations have boycotted the elections as a form of protest against the Islamic Republic.

Mozhgan Eftekhari, Mahsa’s mother, shared pictures of her daughter on Instagram with a message: “Where there is no freedom, if voting changed anything they wouldn’t let you vote.”

The Friday elections are the first after the suppression of the Woman, Life, Freedom movement.

The 2022-23 nationwide protests led to the outgoing parliament passing laws that restrict internet freedom and impose fines for not wearing the mandatory headscarf.

Most of Iran’s disgruntled and disenchanted voters are expected to skip the elections. They see the process as a false display of democracy meant to validate a government that has not improved living conditions or personal freedoms.