Poll finds 80 percent of Iranians say they will not vote in upcoming elections

An electoral worker carries a ballot box after closing vote in a polling station in Tehran, Iran, May 19, 2017. (Reuters)

A poll conducted on Wednesday by a state-run Iranian news network found that over 80 percent of Iranian participants said they will not vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Conducted by the state-run Iran News Network channel (IRINN) through the popular messaging app Telegram, the poll was deleted by IRINN after the results came in.

IRINN claimed the poll was hijacked by “counter-revolutionary” groups. “Counter-revolutionary” or “anti-revolutionary” is a term used by the Iranian regime to refer to its opposition.

The poll options were “[I will vote for] conservatives,” “[I will vote for] reformists,” “[I will vote for] independent candidates,” and “I will not vote.”

The last option was selected by 82 percent of the participants.

IRINN reuploaded a new poll on Thursday, replacing the “[I will vote for] independent candidates” option with “I will cast a blank ballot” and adding a new option that read “I will vote based on the criteria set by the Supreme Leader (Khamenei).”

In the new poll, with over 100,000 votes so far, 70 percent of participants have said that they will not vote in the elections.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei urged Iranians on Wednesday to vote in the elections scheduled for February 21.

“Any person who has an affinity for Iran and its security must take part in the election,” Khamenei said in a speech.

“One may not like me personally, but if they love Iran, they must go to the ballot box,” he added.

The Islamic Republic fears a low turnout in the upcoming elections given the widespread November protests as well as the protests that broke out following Iran’s admission to downing the Ukrainian airliner last month.

Imprisoned Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi called on her compatriots to boycott the upcoming elections to honor those killed in the anti-government protests last November, and not give the regime legitimacy.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:06 - GMT 11:06
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