Khoramshahr Friday Prayer Leader Protests:
A week after the Majlis elections in the South-Western town of Khoramshahr, the representative of ayatollah Khamenei in the town annulled the elections and announced that “the elections involved all kinds of violations.”
As reported by Tabnak website, “Seyed Abolhassan Nouri, the Friday congregational prayer leader of Khoramshahr mentioned 'Election rigging', 'coercion of voters' and the 'sale-purchase of votes' as the violations in the Majlis elections in the town.
“Elections in Khoramshahr were held in dirty waters and it is most unfortunate that there was coercion, bullying and fraud involved,” he said. Nouri also revealed that some government agencies possessed documents supporting the rigging, adding, “Unfortunately residents of other election districts were moved to Khoramshahr in an effort to have them vote for pre-identified candidates.” He also quoted some observers who had charged that they had “seen with their own eyes that money had passed hands to individuals who were told to vote for particular candidates.”
Nouri then turned his protests to the elected representative from Khoramshahr and said, “If you were a courageous person you would have resigned under the circumstances. These elections are infected.”
In his meeting with Passdaran Revolutionary Guard officials, Nouri told them that the province of “Khuzestan was unhappy the way some of the elements in this force treated the public.”
Baztab website reported this issue under the headline, “Khoramshahr’s Friday Prayer Leader Meets Certain Officials,” and quoted him saying, “Khoramshahr is a border town and so any event that takes place in it is immediately transferred to the regional countries, including Iraq, Kuwait, etc.”
In his wide-ranging criticism, the cleric also pointed a finger at the Governor-General of the province and said he had not performed his duties, adding, “The Governor-General ignored our good-will notices regarding the violations that took place 24 hours before the elections.” This criticism was leveled at Mostafa Motavarzadeh who according to Fars news agency is supported by the group known as the Principalists (Osoolgaran, who are right wing supporters of the President). He himself came to office after defeating his rival by a mere 1,000 votes which some observers have said were bought through monetary payments and rigging. In addition to the revelations of this cleric, some websites such as Abadan News too mentioned and confirmed the purchase of votes in this voting district.
The chief elections inspector in the province of Khuzestan where Khoramshahr is located and who is responsible for the integrity of the elections under his jurisdiction said, “Following the investigations that have taken place by the provincial inspectors, the degree of violations that took place in the campaigning and voting in the province was very low which in any case did not impact the outcome of the elections.”