For decades, not a single woman in this dusty Pakistani village surrounded by wheat fields and orange trees has voted. And they aren’t likely to in next week’s parliamentary election either. The village’s men have spoken. ”It’s the will of my husband,” said one woman, Fatma Shamshed. “This is the decision of all the families.” Mateela is one of 564 out of the 64,000 polling districts across Pakistan where not a single woman voted in the country’s 2008 election. The men from this village of roughly 9,000 people got together with other nearby communities to decide that their women would not vote on May 11 either.
Middle East and North Africa
Articles about voting issues in the Middle East and North Africa.
In totalitarian dictatorships diversity of opinion doesn’t exist. And so is the case in the Islamic Republic of Iran where all secular organizations and parties were eliminated at the beginning of the Islamic revolution of 1979. Nevertheless, in keeping up appearances, presidential elections are to be held in that country on June 14th. There is an ‘inter-Islamist’ discussion about which Islamist candidate could serve the ruling leader Ali Khamenei in the best way. And that’s the gist of it; the candidates will not deviate from the ruling Islamic doctrine.
Reports have claimed that the Iranian President was arrested this week and warned against releasing information which could prove damaging to the country’s Islamic regime. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was allegedly held for seven hours by the Revolutionary Guard on Monday and told to back down with claims that the regime defrauded voters at the last general election and allegations of fraud against political rivals. According to WND.com, the President was returning from a book fair in Tehran when his security advisor was informed that he was requested to appear at the Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei’s office on an urgent matter. But three other cars are said to have joined the President’s convoy and contact was lost between him and his security vehicles.
The Public Relations Center of the Administration of the President of Iran published a press release rejecting information with reference to some president’s allies about existence of a record showing a fraud that happened during the presidential elections in 2009. On Monday, some media outlets in Iran released news about a record of Ahmadinjad’s conversation with some officials after the presidential elections. According to them, the alleged record shows that some Iranian authorities forced Ahmadinejad to announce that he canvassed 24 million votes, while his real votes were only 16 million. According to the claims, Ahmadinejad first disagreed, but they insisted upon their plan to show a large difference between the votes canvassed by Ahmadinejad and his major rival Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Iran: Ahmadinejad To Expose 2009 Voter Fraud If Protégé Barred From June 14 Election | Eurasia Review
As Iran gears up for its presidential election in June, the question of fraud in the 2009 election continues to haunt the country’s leadership. Baztab, a widely read news site close to former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezaei, stirred up controversy on Saturday after it claimed that Ahmadinejad, Iran’s beleaguered head of government, was in possession of a tape that would prove that authorities had inflated his number of votes in the 2009 race by 8 million and thus brought his total tally to 24 million instead of his original 16 million. … Baztab claimed that Ahmadinejad had threatened to release the alleged tape should the Guardian Council, a body charged with overseeing elections, decide to bar his top aide and protégé Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei from running in the upcoming presidential election on 14 June.
Four years ago the re-election of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which millions considered fraudulent and led to months of violent protest, marked the elimination of the country’s reformists at the hands of their hard-line rivals. Now a new and equally bitter struggle is in full cry—between two different types of hardliner, fighting over an Islamic Republic that has been sapped by international sanctions. Less than two months before the presidential poll, the contest resembles nothing so much as a game of chicken. In the middle of the road stand Mr Ahmadinejad, the outgoing president, with his presumed dauphin: the suave, ambitious Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. The two men are almost family; the president’s son is married to Mr Mashaei’s daughter. They also share apparently limitless reserves of self-confidence, disdain for the revolutionary old guard of crusty clerics, and a yen for millenarian Shiism (see article) that traditionalists see as almost heretical.
Election rhetoric in Iran has increased since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s controversial statements earlier in the week, in which he threatened to reveal sensitive information about his political enemies and taunted them that they are “nobody” to confront him. Immediately after the statements, several figures in Iran responded. Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of the armed forces, said that what the president did “was unacceptable, and it is disturbing public order.” He added that “we hope the president puts an end to this type of discourse.” Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the Kayhan newspaper, which is close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also responded to the president’s statements. He wrote to the president, “There could be two reasons why you still haven’t revealed anything. Either you’re bluffing … or you’re worried they’ll reveal something about you. Could there be any other reason?”
Expressing its failure to extend the voting facility to overseas Pakistanis, the interim government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that multiple technical problems hampered efforts to deploy an e-voting mechanism. Interim Minister for Information Technology Dr Sania Nishtar informed the three-member Supreme Court bench, headed by the Chief Justice, that the government was facing several difficulties in deploying an e-voting system for overseas Pakistanis in the May 11 elections and they wanted to seek the court’s guidance regarding this matter. She explained that though National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) had successfully developed software for the e-voting, it would take at least 18 months to test the system and make it error-free.
Election officials began tallying votes on Sunday from Iraq’s first elections since US troops departed, a contest that served as a key test of its stability amid a spike in violence. Attacks killed three people on election day, a fraction of those who died in a wave of violence preceding the polls on Saturday, which seemed generally well-organised. Turnout for the provincial vote was about 51 percent, according to officials from Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission. IHEC board member Gaata al-Zobaie said ballot boxes and tallies from polling stations were being sent to Baghdad, and they would be entered in computers to tabulate the results. But the credibility of the elections came into question, as 14 candidates died in attacks ahead of the polls and with a third of Iraq’s provinces – all of them mainly Sunni Arab or Kurdish – not voting due to security concerns and political disputes.
Iraqi election monitors on Sunday reported multiple irregularities in the country’s first provincial vote since U.S. troops left but were unclear as to whether results would be affected. In an initial report, two non-governmental organizations, Shams and Tamoz, said over 300 irregularities had been recorded by the seven thousand monitors they had sent across Iraq to cover Saturday’s polls. The vote was a key test of Iraq’s short experience with democratic elections because it was the first one run since the U.S. withdrawal in December 2011. Allegations of vote fixing are not uncommon following elections in the country.