Friday, June 26, 2009

Oh Guardian Council, You've Done It Again

An image from a protest in Iran that occurred on June 22. Apparently, some among Iran's clerics think that there hasn't been enough bloodshed yet. Image credit: .faramaz.

It looks as though Iran's Guardian Council hired Mr. Magoo to look into the charges of election rigging in their country:

Iran's top electoral authority, the Guardian Council, said Friday that it has found no significant violations after 10 days of investigating the disputed June 12 presidential election. All three defeated candidates have protested the results, charging electoral fraud.

The Council's spokesman, Abbas-ali Kadkhodaie, told the Iranian news agency (IRNA), that it was one of the cleanest elections the country has ever had and he said there was no fraud in the election.

Iran's Guardian Council Endorses Results of Disputed Election

For all I know, the Council's spokesman is correct about this being the cleanest election ever, but it makes the worst Chicago elections look spotless in comparison. Over at Five Thirty-Eight, Nate Silver did some analysis a few days ago, and came to some rather startling conclusions:

For all the complex series of statistics that have been run on Iran's election, it's the simplest that might prove to be the regime's downfall. More people "voted" than were eligible to vote -- in a lot of places. The interior ministry admits to 50 such instances out of the 300+ jurisdictions in which Iran tallied results. That is widespread, prime facie and admitted-to evidence of fraud, and I don't see how the Guardian Council expects people to buy the argument that whatever caused the tub to overflow in those 50 cities was not also tainting the results throughout the rest of the country. The Chatham House report we linked to earlier today found that there were more "votes" than voters in two entire provinces.

Worst. Damage Control. Ever.

Considering how shameless our own politicians can be, this should surprise no one, but it gets worse. Apparently, at least some mullahs think this is a great excuse to start killing protestors:

Elsewhere, at the Friday prayer sermon at Tehran University, hardline cleric Ahmed Khatami urged Iran's judiciary to "punish key rioters ruthlessly and savagely."

Rioters, he insisted, should be considered "moharem," or people who wage war against God. Such individuals, he said, should be punished by death, according to Islamic law.

Iran's Guardian Council Endorses Results of Disputed Election

While this may simply be the opinion of a fringe element, given what's going on in Iran, it's a troubling demand.

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