I vote for regime change in Iran

    Monday, 17 February 2020
    This is an opinion article by an external contributor. The views belong to the writer.

    On February 21, 2020, the so-called parliamentary elections will be held in Iran for the 290 seats of the parliament called “Majlis”.

    In total, 3,879 individuals registered as candidates for 290 parliamentary seats. The Guardian Council in Iran disqualified 2,097 of the candidates as ineligible, mainly under the pretext of lack of allegiance to Khamenei, the present supreme leader of Iran.

    108 withdrew their candidacy. Nearly 55% of the candidates were rejected outright by the Guardian Council. 90 sitting members of the current parliament, who were qualified for previous elections, have now been disqualified.

    A glance to these statistics clarifies the regime’s supreme leader and the institution under his control, the Guardian Council, handpick the candidates on the basis of their “heartfelt” and “practical” allegiance to the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei for this election more than previous ones.

    Why this round of election is so important for the clerics in Tehran

    The situation for the registered candidates from the so-called moderate party is so bad that the regime’s president Hassan Rouhani has publicly called the election “ceremonial” and akin to “selections.”

    For its part, Khamenei’s faction has attacked Rouhani for his comments, reminding him that the same processes and procedures brought Rouhani himself to power. It stresses that Rouhani is on the record to have praised the Guardian Council in the past. Ironically, Rouhani has been begging the people to participate in the election which he calls “selections.”

    In fact, this round’s “elections” are different. Since 2017, the people of Iran have staged four major nationwide uprisings and demanded regime change. In November 2019, at least 1,500 protesters were brutally murdered by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other suppressive forces.

    In January 2020, people poured into the streets once again, chanting “death to oppressor, be it the Shah or Supreme Leader.” People have also been chanting “hardliners, reformers, the game is now over,” meaning that only regime change is on the people’s agenda.

    On the other hand, the regime is knocking every door to keep EU’s door open to its dominated market, especially when the regime failed to show its popularity inside the country with Qassem Soleimani’s funeral, and with the anniversary of the 1979 revolution. Thus, February’s election is their last chance to show off about their popularity inside the country.

    The people of Iran and their resistance call for boycotting the election 

    Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), called on the Iranian people to boycott the sham elections. She said boycotting this charade is a patriotic duty and the nation’s pledge to the martyrs of the Iranian people, especially the 1,500 martyrs of the November uprising.

    It also reflects the demands of the January 2020 uprising of the people and students for the overthrow of the illegitimate ruling theocracy in its entirety.

    The people and students chanted “death to Khamenei, death to the dictator, death to the principle of the velayat-e faqih, death to the oppressor, be it the Shah or the leader,” demonstrating that they want a future devoid of Shah (monarchy) and the mullahs.

    They want a secular republic based on democracy and people’s sovereignty. As the Iranian people were chanting in their November 2019 and January 2020 demonstrations, they have already cast their vote for regime change.

    Thus “my vote is regime change” is the Iranian people’s response to the regime’s election farce.

    Ali Bagheri