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Scrutiny
  
‘Which’ hunt?
Iran’s done well as a democracy
09/07/2009

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is back on the seat of power, but victory celebrations have been dampened to an extent by a string of violent protests post the elections. The protesters, led by opposition party leader Mir Hossein Mousavi maintain that the election results were fraudulent. However, the authorities have ruled it out. While they admitted irregularities, they have maintained that they were not large enough to affect the landslide victory. So finally, he can afford to get back to business.

Global reaction has been mixed, though, and understandably so. Countries like India, China, Venezuela, Russia, Brazil, Sri Lanka and Pakistan (besides the Middle East) have appreciated and congratulated Ahmedinejad. Ironically, most of the western countries including the US, France, UK, Dutch were mute during the peaceful election and suddenly got into action as the violence spread. So much so that French President Nicholas Sarkozy branded the election result as a fraud and attributed the subsequent unrest as the result of Ahmedinejad’s failures in his first term. There were also many discreet protests against Obama’s as well as Sarkozy’s victory but these were never brought into limelight by the western media. Such petty gestures only show the Western world in a poor light, and elevate Ahmedinejad further in the eyes of the Iranian people.

In fact, Iran has proved to be a fine example of a democracy in this election. Going by voter turn out rate, Iran fared better than many successful democracies. Iran had voter turnout of 85%, slightly better than France, which had 84% in its 2007 presidential election and the US, which had a mere 61% voter turnout in 2008 presidential election. Rather than wasting their time in wishing Ahmedinejad away, the western world would do better to accept the reality and look to improve their relations with Iran.

By:- Akram Hoque
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