While former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami warned that irregularities in the eight Majlis elections may become a “trend,” in its latest statement following the second round of elections in several cities across Iran, the Committee for Defense of Free, Healthy and Fair Elections characterized the eight Majlis elections as “not free, unfair, and corrupt."
Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, whose recent remarks in interviews with foreign media has enraged some right-wingers in Iran, said in an interview about irregularities in the eight Majlis elections, “The worry is mostly that this method will become a trend. We must all fear this and stop it. If some act to undermine free election and the people’s freedom of choice, they have done a very terrible thing.”
Criticizing widespread disqualifications, Khatami added, “In two-thirds of races, one party that is committed to Islam, Iran, and development and progress of this nation was not allowed to introduce any candidates… I am glad that the dear head of the Expediency Council and even the dear interior minister protest this and say that fundamental reforms must be undertaken in this field (elections) and especially in determining the criteria for qualification of candidates. Although I truly hope that this remark does not mean that the dear interior minister will lose his post in the near future! It is necessary that a comprehensive and complete report [of election irregularities] be prepared and presented to the supreme leader and next Majlis to uncover the realities.”
Coinciding with Khatami’s remarks, the Committee for Defense of Free, Healthy and Fair Elections, which has as a member Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and other prominent Iranian figures, released a statement with the completion of second round of eight Majlis election. The statement notes, “Not taking into account systemic and legal problems with the electoral system in Iran, and independent of irregularities witnessed during the first round of eight Majlis elections (including: disqualification of candidates, open support of some government institutions, radio and television in particular, for a certain political faction, as well as the ballot-counting process), the Committee for Defense of Free, Healthy and Fair Elections deems the second round of Majlis elections not free, unfair and corrupt, and in line with the trend set with the irregularities as well as unfair and corrupt processes in the first round.”
The statement adds, “The second round of elections followed the corrupt, unfair and un-free trend of the previous round. Politicians, administrators and specially the supervisors of the aforementioned elections completed this process by ignoring and failing to provide reasonable and convincing responses to protests and calls by certain candidates and parties to recount votes and provide accurate information and data from each ballot box (including the number of cast and valid ballots, and number of ballots cast for each individual candidate in the first and second rounds).”