Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hanging chads in Tehran

Khatami calls for a re-vote. (Reminds me of the Democrats and Michigan and Florida. They can't even run their own elections for president without major snafus, think what they'll do to the country. )

Iran's former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, has called for a recount of votes cast in the capital in last Friday's general election - in the presence of candidates. Khatami made the request in a letter sent to Iran's Guardian Council and co-signed by former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi. The letter does not refer directly to electoral fraud, but it calls for a fresh vote count in the politically important Tehran constituency "to be able to defend the correctness of the polls."

"There are rumours circulating and some concerns exist," the letter said.

Conservatives seem set to obtain a majority and retain their control of the parliament. Iran's official news agency Irna, said on Tuesday that two thirds of the 30 seats contested in Tehran went to the conservative "United Front" group, while the remaining 11 will be appointed after a second run-off ballot in April or May.

Iran's Guardian Council is an unelected religious oversight body that vets all election candidates. It disqualified nearly half of those who applied to run in the election, many of them reformists and opponents of Iran's hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The European Union (EU) called the Iranian elections unfair, due to the disqualification of certain reformist candidates.