Iran moves towards elections that are not quite free and fair but are nonetheless a barometer of political moods and movements, perhaps even a watershed. The phenomenon of blogging elections has reached the Iranian elections, and OpenDemocracy is blogging the latest elections from the Islamic Republic.
“Despite all the early polls indicating a Rafsanjani win there are some very strong signs especially in blogosphere that Moeen the reformist candidate may end up as the winner.
As you know Presidential candidates are all trying to induce cynical voters to go to the polls on Friday and are struggling hard to appeal to young voters.
Rafsanjani as chairman of the powerful Expediency Council has been the centre of political gravity of the regime for quarter of century. Appealing to the youth vote during a nationally televised campaign broadcast created by one of Iran’s leading commercial filmmakers, he even sheds a tear when a young girl complained of restrictions in the Islamic republic.”
Mehrdad Mashayekhi believes that the elections will mark a departure from previous models of Iranian politics.
“Iranian society is in the midst of an epoch-making renaissance in its political culture and discourse. This transformation in political values, norms, symbols and everyday codes of behaviour is most evident in educated circles, especially amongst the opposition political elite.
Since the ‘Islamic’ revolution of 1978-79, two distinct political models have assumed hegemonic positions in the opposition movement; first, the anti-imperialist/ revolutionary paradigm, dominant in the 1970s and early 1980s, which I have elsewhere referred to as ‘the problematic of dependency’; and second, the Islamic-reformist paradigm, assuming prominence in 1997 and leading the challenge to the clerical establishment from within the system until 2003.
Since 2003, there are strong indications that a new political paradigm is emerging. The new model of political dissent is democratic, secular and characterised by republican values.”