Wednesday , 24 July 2024

At Least Two-Thirds of Iranians to Boycott Presidential Vote – Poll

iranintl – As Iran’s government faces its greatest battle for legitimacy since the founding of the Islamic Republic, a new survey shows at least 65 percent of the country will boycott the upcoming presidential elections.

According to the survey conducted by the Netherlands-based Gamaan Institute, only 22% of respondents confirmed they would definitely vote, while 12% remain undecided.

Titled “Iranians’ Attitudes Toward the 2024 Elections,” the survey was conducted online over three days from June 17 to 19, 2024, with a sample of 77,216.

Additionally, approximately 34% of the population reported being unaware of the date of the snap election on June 28 in the wake of the sudden death of former President Ebrahim Raisi. He died last month in a freak helicopter crash along with several officials.

The results of the survey highlight deep-seated dissatisfaction with the current political system, with roughly 68% of respondents citing “opposition to the overall system of the Islamic Republic” as their primary reason for not voting. Other notable reasons included “the limited power of the president” (18%) and the “disqualification of my preferred candidate” (8%).

In February this year, Gamaan’s survey revealed that three-quarters of Iranians will boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections, with 75% seeking the overthrow of the government. The prediction of that survey came out to be largely true, with the government claiming a 40% turnout.

The survey also touched on public perceptions surrounding the helicopter crash which killed Raisi, with 51% of respondents attributing it to “power struggles within the regime,” while 13% believing it was due to natural factors, and 6% suspecting sabotage by foreign countries.

The findings reflect the general mood in the country amid economic and social turmoil. Iran has been suffering from more than 40% annual inflation for the past four years, and unprecedented government violence against those who have dared to protest since 2019.

In recent days, political and civil figures, women activists, and civil organizations, have called for boycotting the elections. More than 500 teachers, union activists, and prominent cultural figures in Iran publicly announced their decision to abstain from voting in the upcoming presidential elections through a joint statement.

From the confines of Evin prison, Iranian Nobel laureate Narges Mohammadi denounced the presidential election in Iran, calling it the “illegal elections of the oppressive and illegitimate government”.

Similarly, political prisoner Mahboubeh Rezaei slammed the elections explaining that “the Islamic Republic has no legitimacy” after almost two years of the Woman, Life, Freedom uprising has left the government in crisis.

Dozens of citizens also said in messages to Iran International that they would not participate in the elections.

On Saturday, it was reported that the US will allow remote voting stations for Iranians abroad. Iranian Americans strongly criticized the decision saying that it only bolsters the facade of legitimacy for the regime.

With the world’s largest diaspora of Iranians abroad, there will be over 30 stations in the US which last year labeled Iran the world’s number one state sponsor of terror.

Ballot boxes will be set up at the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistani embassy in Washington and in New York among others.