Monday, June 15, 2009

Popular Uprising in Iran Leads to Results

UK Times Online: Tens of thousands defy ban to march in Tehran in support of Mousavi

Tens of thousands of Iranian opposition activists have taken to the streets of Iran for a third day protesting against the disputed presidential election, defying a ban by the Interior Ministry.

Chanting crowds wearing green campaign colours greeted Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated candidate in Friday's disputed presidential elections, as he slowly moved through the streets on the back of a four-wheel drive car.

"Mousavi we support you! We will die but retrieve our votes!" shouted the crowds of thousands, young and old, who packed his route.

New York Times: Khamenei Calls for Vote Inquiry Amid Calls for Calm

Mr. Moussavi met with the supreme leader on Sunday night, several news agencies quoted state television as reporting. Ayatollah Khamenei then asked that the powerful Guardian Council “precisely examine” Mr. Moussavi’s charges of irregularities, state media said.

The council will make its findings known in 10 days, according to the state media reports.

The ayatollah’s call appeared to be a shift in his position. Earlier, Mr. Khamenei had said the vote, which gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an overwhelming victory, had been fair.

Slate Magazine: Events in Iran prove that even a little bit of democracy is a powerful thing.

Yes, this was a highly managed, deeply illiberal election, and it didn't even change the composition of the Iranian government: After all that, Ahmadinejad is still president. But the voting process did open a crack where none had existed before, the possibility of choice did inspire what had seemed to be a passive society to protest, and the campaign rallies allowed people to shout political slogans in front of the police without the police reacting. One could argue—and many Iranians do—that the poll was farcical. But Iran goes to show that a bad election is better than none at all.

What comes next? As I write, the Internet rumor mill says that Mousavi is under arrest. By next week, he may be president—or he may be in prison. But that, too, is the point: The impact of democracy—even halfway, tentative, incomplete democracy—is unpredictable. Which is, of course, why dictators try to control it in the first place.

No comments:

Post a Comment