The results of the recent polls ahead of the main presidential elections in Iran show a growing apathy among the Iranian public for the polls.
The survey was carried out by Iranian student polling agency (ISPA) affiliated with the country’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. With over 1,500 respondents, the survey estimates the final turnout at around 38%.
The ISPA results also showed that only 34% of eligible voters go to the ballot box “absolutely”. The Survey suggested further that the current campaign not only did not attract any new voters, it actually pushed another 5% away from the elections compared to another poll in May.
The numbers also marked a sharp, unprecedented drop from all previous Iranian presidential elections. The last three votes The turnout was between 72 and 85%.
Iran will hold the June 18 elections amid a moment of public disillusionment with the country’s ailing economy, amassed anger over human rights abuses and crackdown on civil liberties. Despite such a backdrop, Iran’s ruling establishment decided to turn the race into a one-sided competition between candidates selected by its tenacious Council of Guardians.
The Candidate Review Board, reporting only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has removed several centrist candidates despite their decades-long role at the core of the Islamic Republic’s decision-making process.
The selection process has also fueled the already ongoing boycott campaigns and increased speculation that the ruling establishment is going the extra mile for one slight landslide for the ultra-conservative clergyman and head of justice Ebrahim Raisi, a close ally of the Supreme Leader.
Of the eight final candidates, six are affiliated with the tough, powerful political factions. It is believed that the remaining two were chosen opaque numbers of the moderate camp and have not even received official confirmation from their own factions.
On Tuesday, candidates took part in their second live debate on television to address a wide range of topics from the country’s ailing economy and fragile nuclear deal to widespread corruption and women’s rights. However, as can be seen in the first debate, the nominees did not propose any working solutions to the country’s grievances. Instead, they used the stage to launch violent attacks and exchange inflammatory speeches.
After the two moderate candidates had sharply criticized Raisi in the first debate, they received Ayatollah. a sharp warning Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani. Without naming the two, the ultra-conservative cleric said they could still simply be removed from the race should they cross the red lines.
ISPA survey also examined whether the first debate before the vote changed the calculations. It showed that the debate failed to encourage undecided voters. The poll also found that 70% of Iranians over the age of 18 did not even watch the television debate, despite extensive coverage by a variety of Iranian television and radio stations.