Iranians will head to the polls in February 2020 to elect the 11th parliament, and again in 2021 to select a new president. While there are many flaws associated with the Iranian electoral system, it provides an opportunity for Iranian citizens to participate in the electoral process, operate within the democratic system, and generate demands for increased political accountability. Opportunities for large-scale reform remain limited under the current system, but the history of political developments in Iran suggest a possibility for gradual, systemic change. Continue...
Amplifying Citizen Voices; Promoting Accountability
When people think about elections, they mostly focus on voting. While election day is certainly a critical component, it is important to view elections as a long-term “cycle” in which the periods before and after the election equally contribute to the credibility of the process. For example in the pre-election period, if a candidate engages in widespread vote buying or if the election management body fails to educate voters, the overall integrity of the election is compromised.
Additionally, because elections are increasingly subject to international scrutiny, political actors seeking to manipulate election outcomes often carry out violations before or after the voting takes place when fewer eyes are watching. For these reasons and more, it is crucial to watch for violations throughout the entire election cycle.
Government in Iran is based on a centralized system, but in order to encourage citizen participation, the law grants local entities certain levels of authority in decision-making, implementation, consultation, and oversight. The Interior Ministry is in charge of controlling and supervising the governance process at the local level. Major areas of governance including maintaining public order, education, water and energy, universities, healthcare, and culture continue to be administered directly from the center, although local entities do have the ability to influence its decisions.
On February 21, 2020, Iran held its 11th parliamentary elections since the foundation of the Islamic Republic in 1979. Voter turnout - at around 42 percent - was the lowest since 1979. The low voter turnout could be the result of a wide variety of reasons: widespread dissatisfaction about economic conditions, domestic and international political issues, recent crackdowns of protests, the mishandling of the Ukrainian airplane accident, diaspora groups’ anti-election campaigns, heavy disqualification of pro-reform groups, and the recent spread of the Coronavirus to Iran
This map series details the availability of results of Iran’s 2020 parliamentary elections by constituency. Each map presents the availability of each of the following categories:
- Is the number of eligible voters available?
- Is a copy of the Form 78 publicly available?
- Is the turnout rate available by constituency?
- Is the total number of votes available by constituency?
- Is the total number of valid votes cast available by constituency?
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