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Iran’s Sham Elections Still Sent the Regime a Message

Iran’s Sham Elections Still Sent the Regime a Message
Torn electoral posters hang on a wall four days before the parliamentary elections, Tehran, Iran, Feb. 26, 2024 (photo by Morteza Nikoubazl for NurPhoto via AP Images).

As many have noted, more voters than ever before in history will have the opportunity to cast a ballot in 2024. But many of the elections taking place this year are little more than charades, constructed by authoritarian regimes in an effort to varnish their rule with a coat of democratic legitimacy. One of those undemocratic countries just held its sham election: Iran.

On March 1, the Islamic Republic once again carried out that curious exercise it has conducted since the 1979 revolution, which in the past has included enough elements of democracy to at times add some suspense—and even some surprises—to the otherwise overpowering weight of theocratic rule. This year was different.

This year, the exercise was entirely devoid of democratic legitimacy. As expected, the election was neither free nor fair.

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