December 18, 2006
Ahmadinejad's Rope Pulls Taut
Those two Iranian elections we discussed in our last post on the subject (Ahmadinejad At the End of His Rope?) -- for local leaders and members of the absurdly-named Assembly of Experts -- appear so far to be going just the way that this Arab News story predicted (I found out that the site is owned and maintained by the government of Saudi Arabia, Iran's greatest rival in the area).
From our previous post:
Ahmadinejad expected his faction to win a majority of these [local offices]: he counted on a low turnout (ca. 15%), which always favors the radicals (here too!); and he thought the Self-Sacrificers would all ally together, while the anti-Khomeinists would call for boycotts... meaning the less radical voters would stay home, clearing the decks for the foam-flecked slavering jihadis to take power.
Alas for him, what happened was precisely the opposite: the conservatives have called for full participation in the elections, while many of the Self-Sacrificers are sitting it out; and it was the conservative candidates who banded together... as opposed to the radicals, who couldn't agree with each other or put personal animosity aside (perhaps because they were too caught up sacrificing each other).
Now from the Reuters story, first on the turnout numbers:
The Iranian news agency quoted officials citing turnout of around 60 percent of the 46.5 million eligible voters, higher than previous council and assembly votes. Iran's press said the turnout was a blow to Iran's "enemies".
Next, regarding the council members from Teheran, the most important of the local elections: according to Reuters, in the 2003 local elections, Ahmadinejad's allies -- called the "Self Sacrificers" -- nabbed 14 of the 15 Teheran City Council seats, while the reformers had none. But this time, the fotunes of the Self-Sacrifices have begun a decided ebb:
The Tehran City Council race was the main battleground, where Ahmadinejad's supporters competed against backers of another conservative, Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf [he took the place of Ahmadinejad when Ahmadinejad jumped from the Teheran mayorality to president of Iran], and reformists seeking a political comeback.
No official results have been announced but the semi-official Mehr news agency said Qalibaf's backers would get eight Tehran City Council seats, Ahmadinejad's backers four and reformists three. Mehr did not give a source.
So Ahmadinejad's bloc dropped from 14 of 15 seats to 4 of 15 seats... that's a plunge of over 70% of the Self-Sacrificers' power. Other local elections look to be going about the same way.
Finally, there is the election in the Assembly of Experts, which can hire and fire the Supreme Boy Sprout (current occupant: Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei). Here, President Ahmadinejad and his faction expected major movement. From our earlier post:
On the Assembly of Experts front, Ahmadinejad was hoping to pull off a virtual coup d'état: he expected to see elected a number of mullahs who support Ahmadinejad's "theological guru" (yes, that's the term the article uses, funnily enough), Ayatollah Muhamad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi. The idea would be that the Assembly would be assembled of a bunch of Yazdiites, who would then impeach and remove from office the current Supreme Guide, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has ruled since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini died.
Here is what the Arab News predicted (on December 9th this year):
Ahmadinejad's plan to win control of the assembly hit two big snags.
The first was the refusal of the Council of Guardians of the Constitution, a 12-mullah body that must approve all candidates, to allow many of Ahmadinejad's friends to stand for election....
All this means that the council, almost certainly acting under instructions from Khamenehi has arranged things in such a way that no substantial change in the assembly's majority is now possible. By most account only 17 new members may eventually enter the assembly, not enough to upset its pro-Khamenehi majority.
Khamenehi has even allowed Rafsanjani to stand as a candidate, thus indicating a desire to clip Ahmadinejad's wings.
That last line is really amusing, because it turns out that Rafsanjani actually got twice as many votes than did Mesbah-Yazdi. From a later story on Reuters:
In Tehran former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a staunch critic of the president who lost to Ahmadinejad in the 2005 presidential vote, easily topped the vote. Political analysts said it was a significant comeback for Iran's arch pragmatist powerbroker.
Firebrand cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, a vocal backer of Ahmadinejad, trailed in sixth place with almost half the votes of Rafsanjani but enough to retain his assembly seat. Several other clerics allied to the president and Mesbah-Yazdi failed to win seats.
So far, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to be batting zero: a loss of political power in the local arenas; the inability to get his own supporters into key positions on the Assembly of Experts; and a personal slap in the face when Rafsanjani was handily elected to the Assemly... but Mesbah-Yazdi is fighting for his political life!
Let's hope this is a trend and not just an exciting but one-time event: it would be a tremendous boon to the West generally, and to America and Israel in particular, if Ahmadinejad got his nose clipped.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 18, 2006, at the time of 11:42 PM
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Tracked on June 22, 2009 2:27 PM
The following hissed in response by: hunter
The only rope little hitler needs to be on the end of is one around his neck. My bet is still that he stages a coup and takes over the ruling council.
That said, the ruling elites in Iran are so far into their islamofascist death cult, it almost does not matter. Iran is afterall not a true democracy, but an oligarchic theocracy, with its imams and mullahs at the top of the power food chain.
In a way, the politics we are fixated on is a side show.
The following hissed in response by: Cowgirl
It will be very interesting to watch the fallout (no pun really intended, although it made me chuckle) from this election.
The above hissed in response by: Cowgirl at December 19, 2006 6:08 AM
The following hissed in response by: Eg
I think the only thing these elections indicate is Khamenei, fond of Ahmadinejad as he may be(and he is), will not let the Yadzi or someone from the sect of the MIA Iman’s capitalize on Ahmad’s success and thus fill his turban as Supreme Fubar when he goes traipsing-about picking raisins in hell. One of those religious thangs.
What’s somewhat humorous - in a sick way - about this whole affair is Katami, you know that big reformer that stamped-out reform during his term as the 5th President, formed a coalition with Rafsanjani, the 2nd President of Iran and certainly no reformer, to pull off this stunt as some ’Reformist Coalition.’ Enjoy: Reform movement in Iran unstoppable, says Khatami
Jayzuz these folks are about as perverted as you can get.
The following hissed in response by: Terrye
It remains to be seen, but it might be that not everyone in Iran wants to die. Just possible.
The above hissed in response by: Terrye at December 19, 2006 4:45 PM
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