July 19, 2024

Solid State Lighting Design

Find latest world news and headlines today based on politics, crime, entertainment, sports, lifestyle, technology and many more

Iranian elections: As young people lose hope, a reformist runs for president

Iranian elections: As young people lose hope, a reformist runs for president

Many Iranians have lost hope that any real change will come through the ballot box.

“I will not vote this year,” a 70-year-old woman in Tehran, who previously voted for reformist candidates, told the BBC. She added: “I know that nothing will change. The economy is in a very miserable state, and a generation of young people now just want to leave Iran.”

Azad (not her real name), a women’s rights activist who was imprisoned during the protests, described what happened as an “election circus.”

“When the engine is one person named Khamenei, it doesn’t matter which name comes out of the ballot box,” she told me via a social media app. “At the height of the unrest, people chanted this slogan over and over again in the streets: ‘Reformists, conservatives, game over.’”

Some believe that the religious establishment only allowed Pezishkian to run as part of efforts to boost turnout.

Azad described it as a “game” played by the regime, saying: “We don’t trust them and we don’t want to be manipulated again.”

Several people in Tehran I have spoken to over the past few days have confirmed this view.

One law student told the BBC: “Voting is an obligation, but I will not do it.” “Because all previous elections showed that none of the elected presidents offered anything better for the people.”

But others may be drawn to the polls by the small ray of hope for change that Mr. Pezeshkian represents for liberal-minded Iranians.

Maryam (54 years old) from Tehran says: “I will vote for Pezeshkian. I believe that change can only come from within Iran – through reform.”

See also  The Asian Security Summit kicks off amid tensions between the United States and China

She likes the fact that his background is not in the security forces and that he is “clean” and there are no corruption charges against him.

She also hopes that he can improve Iran’s relations with the outside world, and believes that he will win.

If he does, there will be a big question mark over what room he will have to maneuver.

“Pezeshkian is a reformist in name only,” says Sanam Vakil of think tank Chatham House.

“He supports the Islamic Republic and is fiercely loyal to the Supreme Leader. His participation will likely boost public turnout and increase enthusiasm, but we should expect nothing more than a difference in tone if he is elected.”