The upcoming February 21 Majlis elections are sure to add more problems to the fragile Iranian regime, already reeling from a plethora of crises.
The regime has held 10 Majlis elections in the past 40 years and is set to hold its 11th elections on February 21.
Looking back at Iran’s first Majlis elections under the clerical regime clearly shows the nature of the regime and what was to come.
In 1980, under the watchful eye of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, only those approved by him made it to the parliament. The representatives of political groups that did not represent the interests of the budding theocracy were completely put aside with election fraud.
This time around, due to the regime’s fragile condition, the Guardian Council has disqualified nearly one third of the current members of the Majlis on charges of “financial and ethical corruption” prompting “reformists” to complain about the very few of their candidates allowed to run for the Majlis.
Many believe that if the regime didn’t have to hold elections during these times of crises, it would have gladly postponed them in fear of more popular protests by angry Iranians who are fed up with elections that amount to nothing.
This is because in a theocracy where Ali Khamenei, as the Supreme Leader, is above the law and sees himself as God’s hand, elections are fundamentally irrelevant and are nothing more than a show.
However, because the medieval regime is trying to portray itself as a democratic state in tune with the times, the regime is forced to hold sham elections.
Iran’s election campaigns are a sort of rivalry between the country’s two factions; the so-called reformists and the hardliners. Due to the regime’s weakened state as a result of international and US pressure, it cannot afford such rivalry as it will only lead to more internal crises.
A quick look at parliamentary elections and the candidates shows that Khamenei has decided to take up a harder stance both in his foreign and domestic policies.
The regime’s Supreme Leader hopes to use this policy as leverage to maneuver at will during upcoming events that might endanger his regime.
Alternatively, the regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani, and his reformist faction who feel left out of the parliament are putting pressure on Khamenei by threatening that they would not take part in the “engineering” of the elections.
Iranians have called for a national boycott of the Febuary 21 parliamentary elections in Iran.