One of the main topics during any Iranian presidential election is ‘to vote or not to vote’. In other words whether to take part in the election or boycott it. Although several opposition groups have called for boycotting the coming June 12 presidential election, it seems the weight of boycotting groups is much less than four years ago. A strong student association such as Tahkim Vahdat, contrary to four years ago, supports a reformist candidate, Mehdi Karoubi and calls for voting for change.
Probabaly the most creative initiative to encourage people to vote is launched in Netherlands. Kamran Ashtary, Netherlands based blogger and artist, and his two friends Farhad Golyardi, editor of Eutopia and Shervin Nekuee, an Iranian sociologist, launched a site named ‘Vote for Iran.”
I am voting with the hope that not only the hardline government will change, but that we will build a more democratic society where women’s rights, a free press, free speech, and human rights are not a dream. Last 4 years proved our right can be in more danger than we could even imagine.
Being part of this initiative was unthinkable for me just four years ago. Four years of right-wing Ahmadinejad has put Iran on a downward path. I believe that Iranian expats should play a more constructive role and not keep waiting for some magical transformation of power.
Iranians also in 25 different cities all over the world came together and announced they will vote:
Mohammad Ali Abtahi, former vice preisdent writes:
Decreasing the wave of election boycott is one of the most important political events in this term. In previous election, vast boycott caused difficulties in recent 4 years so an incredible gift was presented to the president. Several days ago I saw a group of students who had collected nearly 500 signatures to boycott election in previous election. Now most of them try to invite people to the election.
Paicorg writes [fa] that the election should be boycotted. The blog mentions that this election is not competitive and free.
Tahrimen Etkhabat (means boycotting election) writes [fa] that Iranians by boycotting the election can once more announce to the world that the Islamic Republic does not have any legitimacy.
This article was originally published on www.globalvoicesonline.org