Saturday, March 2, 2024

Iran reformists: Boycotting elections would debilitate society

Over a hundred reformist activists, intellectuals and media personalities in Iran have released a statement, warning that banning the upcoming parliamentary elections will make the society weaker.

The statement, released on Monday, read, “Just like economic sanctions, boycotting the elections has led to the weakening of Iranian society and has taken a toll on national development and has led to the strengthening of authoritarianism.”

It also insisted that practicing “the right to vote” can create high potentials for creative and effective measures.

“The withdrawal of reformers will pave the path for the extremists to gallop around which will harm the national and public interests of Iranians at this critical juncture,” the reformist-minded signatories warned.

Among the 110 signatories of the statement are former mayor of Tehran Gholamhossein Karbaschi, former lawmakers Elias Hazrati, Elaheh Koolayi and Ahmad Mazani, and academics like Mohammad Fazeli and Hamidreza Jalaeipour.

The statement comes as the Gaurdian Council, the vetting body responsible for the elections, has disqualified many candidates for the March legislative polls, many of them in the reformist and moderate camps, including former president Hassan Rouhani.

There are growing concerns that restricting the candidates, which has practically given a large space for the rival parties, would lead to voter apathy and a low turnout.

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