June 16, 2009

WAS THE VOTE RIGGED IN IRAN? A PARTIAL RECOUNT MIGHT HELP ANSWER THE QUESTION

THOUSANDS OF people began massing in the streets here again on Tuesday to protest Iran’s disputed presidential election, increasing tensions a day after clashes left at least seven people dead during the largest antigovernment demonstration since the Iranian revolution. (Check out some great photos here).

But in answer to the supreme leader’s turnabout call for an examination of opposition charges of vote-rigging, the country’s powerful Guardian Council said Tuesday it was prepared to order only a partial recount, and it ruled out an annulment of the vote, according to state television and news reports.

The concession was rejected by the main opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, and other opponents of the declared winner, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The opponents demand that a new election be held.

(More on the Election Controversy: At this point there are only allegations of fraud in the Iranian election. No real data has showed up but suspicions run high. For instance, Iran uses paper ballots which have to be hand counted. Two hours after the polls closed the state-run news agency claimed that Ahmadinejad had won by 69 percent. "The speed with which the results were certified and the wide margin of victory, coupled with some statistical anomalies, have led many to believe the vote was rigged." See Wired's article on "Crunching Iranian Election Numbers for Evidence of Fraud" here.)

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