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Friday, April 19, 2024

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Iran Election: Low Voter Turnout Predicted In A First Poll After Protests

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Iran’s first elections after the antigovernmental demonstrations of 2022 are currently underway.

The elections on Friday are viewed as a critical litmus test for Iran’s leadership in terms of legitimacy and popular support, although low voter turnout is predicted.

After a period of upheaval following the death of a young woman held by morality police for wearing an “improper” hijab, voter apathy is still high. There are more than 61.2 million voters in the country.

On Friday, there will be two distinct elections: one to choose the next parliamentarians and another to choose the Assembly of Experts’ members.

The supreme leader, Iran’s most powerful person and commander in chief, is chosen and managed by the assembly. He or she makes crucial choices on matters that matter to voters, such as social freedoms and economic conditions.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the incumbent Supreme Leader who has presided over the country for over three decades, urged Iranians to cast ballots on Thursday. He claimed that not casting a ballot “would not solve anything”.

State media produced additional channels to provide candidates with airtime and aired numerous election specials in the lead-up to the polls in an effort to boost voter turnout. However, a state-affiliated polling firm is predicting a 41% turnout for the parliamentary elections, which, if true, will be the lowest turnout in the previous 12 elections of this kind.

Since Mahsa Amini, 22, died while in the custody of the authorities in 2022, a number of Iranians have chosen not to vote or are unwilling to vote.

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