Iran: Elections… a repeated demagogic theatrics

Feb 23
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Dr. Mohammad Maleki, former Tehran University president
Dr. Mohammad Maleki, former Tehran University president

By Dr. Mohammad Malaki 

Dr. Mohammad Malaki is a known figure of the mullahs’ opposition inside Iran and the first dean of Tehran University following the 1979 revolution who spent years in prison for the “crime” of opposing the mullahs’ dictatorship in Iran. Dr. Malaki has written an article entitled, “Elections… a repeated demagogic theatrics” regarding elections in Iran. This piece has been published in Al Arabiya website on Friday, February 19th. We have translated this article to English for all readers.


To all those yearning for years, seeking freedom in free and popular elections

Demagogic theatrics is a type of show aimed at amusing its spectators. Above a stage-box sits the performer with a number of strings, each attached to a small doll, and with a specific tone of voice he reads out the screenplay, moving the dolls here and there on the stage. The audience hear the voice of the dolls, seeing them going from here to there, while everything is controlled by the performer. The Allame Dehkhoda dictionary defines the word demagogic theatrics as: “A type of play in which dolls are built in different shapes and brought on stage, and the dolls are attached to thin strings with which the dolls are moved around in different ways.”

The story of the “elections” under the mullahs’ rule in Iran is the same story of a demagogic play, with a performer moving his dolls as he wishes and placing words in their mouths. In the past 37 years we have witnessed numerous “elections” in our country, and only the dolls’ shapes have changed while two performers have controlled the entire show: Misters Khomeini and Khamenei. Based on the timing, location and developments, in each show the performer attempts to repeat his methods and do as he wishes. This is nothing but deceiving the people to lure them to the site of the demagogic theatrics. Due to my age and considering various social and political developments, I have witnessed many elections come and go in Iran, both under the Shah and the mullahs. Despite the fact that prior to 1979 individuals such as Dr. Mossadegh and Elahiar Saleh were able to enter the parliament, elections under that regime was also riddled with deceit, lies and fraud, and most of the individuals entering parliament and the senate were proud of serving to Shah’s will. The role played by the ruling elite, landowners and the Shah’s loyalists was very significant in the election of these individuals.
Following the events in 1979 with the Shah going and the mullahs establishing their own rule, other than the first few elections when Mr. Khomeini and his inner circle had yet to cement their firm grip on power, and when a few critics were able to actually enter the “Assembly of Experts” and “National Council”, the vast majority of those reaching these two bodies were associated to the Republic Party and linked closely to the mullahs’ rule. Following the events of the 1980s and the killing sprees launched by the ruling regime inside the country, people eventually came to learn about the regime’s true nature, and the elections demagogic theatrics lost its viewers. For example, if Mr. Khamenei received 16,800,000 votes in his first presidential elections [1981], in his second elections [1985] despite the country’s population increasing they were only able to pour 12 million votes into the ballot boxes for him. After him Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani reached the presidency with 15 million votes for his first term [1989], and 10 million votes on his second term [1993].
This led to major concerns amongst senior regime officials, prompting them to plot new plans dividing people into two groups. They presented one group as loyalists [now termed as hardliners] and others as reformists, claiming to oppose the first group that is very much linked to the mullahs’ ruling elite. In their engineering they depicted such a scene that two fronts are actually in faceoff against each other. Uninformed people who had lost all hope in the first group leaned towards the second group to save themselves. This is how Mohammad Khatami gained votes [in 1997], and this agenda has continued in different methods to this day.
These days, similar to years before, yet another election is in the making and the demagogic theatrics performers are preparing their stages with new scenes. Both parties, each enjoying the same roots, have entered the competition and are seen presenting hollow promises in a new attempt to deceive the people all over again, luring them to their demagogic theatrics. What they don’t realize is that people are becoming more and more alert these days, no longer deceived by their old tricks. In a regime where the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander publicly speaks of “engineering” the 2009 elections, is there any meaning left in the word “elections”? It is worth noting that in this dispute, the so-called representative branch of the regime has no will or power to confront the mullahs’ loyalists.
For example, Mr. Hassan Rouhani said on February 9th, “We are facing problems regarding corruption, and monopolization. There is a certain apparatus, which I prefer not naming, busy smuggling goods and preventing any progress in production.”

"... some daydreamers are heard saying voting in the election is a step towards democracy! My question for them is, taking part in which elections? Free elections with all its true conditions, or this “selection” process?"

Dr. Mohammad Malaki

Who is he referring to when using the ‘apparatus’, and what does he mean? Is it not the same party that says the election “engineering” is under our control? Then why doesn’t Mr. Rouhani, a president rendered from the so-called elections, dare not to even name this apparatus, most probably being the IRGC? Under such conditions, can the president actually prevent the IRGC’s actions, behavior and meddling?
I don’t believe so, and that is exactly why I will not be voting in the elections that has been completely set up by the IRGC and regime loyalists. This is despite the fact that some daydreamers are heard saying voting in the election is a step towards democracy! My question for them is, taking part in which elections? Free elections with all its true conditions, or this “selection” process? These individuals must be asked how closer to freedom have you become in the past 37 years by taking part in the mullahs’ elections. Let us not fool ourselves, and let us not prolong the life of the mullahs’ rule through our own actions and behaviors.
Finally, I must emphasize that the efforts placed by those who believe in the mullahs rule to depict an image to the outside world that the Iranian people are facing a decision between the “principalists” (fundamentalists) and reformists (“persistencists”) is actually the most cruelty they have inflicted upon the Iranian people. Aside from these two groups, are the people themselves never considered in any equation? And groups in exile, are they all “grouplets”, foreigners and enjoy no say or any rights? Are you willing to give a voice to the majority of the people who care less about your elections, and seek not to take part in your show? Will you allow them to express their opinions and criticism? Or will you eliminate those using different tags and smears?
Enough! Little by little people will find their way, and by preparing the stage for free and fair elections they will bring an end to your entire establishment. Rest assured the day is near when rulers and oppressors will be forced to give their place to the elected representatives of the people

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Last modified on Tuesday, 23 February 2016 08:42

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