By: Mir M.Hosseini
9th presidential election: Among 7 nominations accepted by the Guardian Council from 1014 candidates on May, 23, the first round of elections on June, 17 was inconclusive. 7 days later, on June, 24, the second round results showed a voter turnout of %60, and the surprise winner became Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with %62 of the vote against Rafsanjani. Later comments by other candidates such as Karroubi indicated that the election results were tampered with.
Ahmadinejad campaigned for return to revolutionary values, promising to bring social equity, and giving people a share of oil revenues, and his key slogan was to end corrupt practices in state agencies.
But Ahmadinejad soon made the world headlines debating the right of Israel to exist, in speeches on October 26 and November 14, and questioning the authenticity of Holocaust in a speech in Mecca on December 8 resulting in further isolation of the Islamic Republic and sanctions by UNSC due to nuclear standoff with the 5+1 group consisting of Germany, France, England, Russia, and China plus USA which is too sensitive or scared to directly involve in talks with Iran. However, at home his popularity has constantly been diminishing due to high inflation and unemployment despite record high oil revenues. The hard-liners' crackdown on dissidents and general censorship on media and the internet is another negative score for the new president among thinking progressive groups. On the other hand, extensive use of the police has drawn corrupt elements towards the power center, thus pushing the regime towards Qajar style despotism. Constant pressure from world powers and further isolation of Iran due to support for anti Israel stance and depriving Iran's rights to peaceful nuclear technology are only few items that shows colonist states do not want an open regime in Iran afraid of expansion of the revolution.