Political activist Abolfazl Ghadiani

Critic Of Iran's Supreme Leaders Brands Elections 'Staged'

Thursday, 02/22/2024

Abolfazl Ghadiani, once an ally and now a vocal opponent of Iran’s Supreme Leader, has unleashed criticism against the electoral process, denouncing it as "staged, scripted, and engineered."

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Ghadiani, a prominent political activist, urged "freedom-seekers, justice-seekers, and government opponents to boycott the upcoming elections," citing concerns over the legitimacy of the electoral system.

Directing his ire at Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Ghadiani labeled him as "power-hungry, delusional, and deceptive," lambasting the Islamic Republic for deceiving Iranians with false promises of government reform and manipulating them into participating in flawed electoral processes.

Highlighting the intelligence of the Iranian people, Ghadiani praised their past decisions to boycott previous elections, emphasizing their rejection of participation calls with resolute negativity.

Ghadiani also accused certain political activists of employing "strange justifications" aimed at perpetuating the regime's survival by artificially bolstering voter turnout.

His remarks took aim at 110 reformist political and media activists who recently called for participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections and advocated for supporting "moderate candidates." However, their appeal was met with widespread backlash, with many accusing them of "power-seeking and profiting at the expense of people's blood."

Recent years have witnessed a significant decline in voter participation due to severe economic challenges, extensive suppression of dissenting voices, and oversight by the Guardian Council. The decline has precipitated a crisis of legitimacy for the Islamic Republic.

With parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections scheduled for March 1, expectations loom for historically low voter turnout, marking the first elections since the 2022 uprising sparked by the death in morality-police custody of Mahsa Amini.

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