Written by 18:04 World

Iranians Say Elections Bring Little Change, So Why Vote?

Except for the fraying posters of Iran’s presidential candidates plastered on highway overpasses, there were few signs this weekend that the country had held a presidential election on Friday and was heading to a runoff.

There were scarcely any rallies to applaud the two top vote-getters who are from opposite ends of the political spectrum and whom Iranians will decide between on July 5.

Even from the government’s official numbers, it was evident that the real winner of Friday’s election was Iran’s silent majority that either left their ballot blank or cast no vote at all. Some 60 percent of eligible voters did not cast a vote or opted to cast a blank one.

That was because there was no point in voting, said Bita Irani, 40, a housewife in Tehran, Iran’s capital: “We had a choice between bad and worse,” she said. “There is no difference between one and another candidate.”

Many Iranians now see no reason to be engaged, she said. “We are watchers, not participants,” she said. “We watch the elections, and if there are riots, we watch them, but we will not vote.”


Last modified: 1 July 2024