A statistical analysis has now been published to try to support the claim that the opposition in Iran is right to question the declared result.Read the whole thing.
On the face of it, there seems no reason to doubt the official numbers.
In 2005, in a run-off ballot, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president with 62% of the vote compared with 36% for his opponent, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
In 2009, in the first round, President Ahmadinejad was re-elected with 63% of the vote compared with 34% for Mir Hossein Mousavi.
So what is the problem?
According to a study edited by Professor Ali Ansari, of the Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews and of the London think tank Chatham House, the problem lies in the increased turnout.
In 2005, Mr Ahmadinejad got 17 million votes and in 2009 he got 24 million.
The question is, where did all those extra votes come from?
Meanwhile, according to the LA Times, the Iranian authorities have announced that the election results will stand. And more than that:
There were signs elsewhere that the protesters' enthusiasm was tapering off. Near Tehran University, police dragged off a young man in a green shirt, the official color of the Mousavi campaign, without raising the hackles of pedestrians, who erupted in anger during similar encounters in previous days.The Iranian government has clearly indicated where it stands.
...The Tehran prosecutor's office said it had arrested at least 457 people in Saturday's unrest, but a source inside Evin Prison said nearly 1,000 had been brought in. Among those arrested in an ongoing sweep of opposition figures was Ardeshir Amir Arjomand, Mousavi's legal advisor.
Now the ball is in the court of the demonstrators--and the world, as it watches from afar.
Technorati Tag: Iran Election.