The upcoming Presidential election in Iran has gripped the nation in unprecedented ways even by Iranian standards. Iran’s democracy has truly come of age given the appetite with which it is followed by the public from every walk of life.
Iranians are mesmerized by the prospect of their candidate of choice reaching the highly prestigious and cherished office of President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Tehran is totally painted in the colors of the four main candidates in the running but other cities by no means have been spared the election fever that is gripping the country.
Democracy in action is indeed a wonderful, spectacular phenomenon to watch and experience in a country that thirsted for freedom for the best parts of its contemporary history.
With the competition have come all the trappings of electioneering. The claims and counter claims, the rumors, the announcements, university students running around with posters and leaflets doing their bit to get their candidate into office.
The atmosphere in Tehran is electric and the buzz is indescribable. Foreign reporters covering Iran’s election already freely admit that they have never seen the like of the flood of excitement sweeping Iran.
Western correspondents in Iran are caught totally off guard by the power that democracy wields among the masses in the Islamic Republic. Iran, they are beginning to understand, is nothing like the twisted images the Western media portray of the country and its politics.
Unprecedented numbers of people are expected to take part in the elections on June 12. An estimated 46.2 million Iranians are eligible to vote and most seem bent on taking part, come hell or high water.
Our advice to fellow foreign journalists is do not under any circumstances take Kayhan International’s word for what is going on in Iran’s villages, towns and cities; come and see it for yourself.
Iran’s elections are traditionally free of violence. And there are no reasons to believe that Iranians will ever allow their Democracy to digress to that extent. Besides, security has been tightened up just in case any ill wishers attempt to leave Iranians with a bad experience.
So the field is wide open and the candidates are busy amid the jovial public mood and the near carnival atmosphere, to press home their agendas.
With just over two weeks to go it’s still anyone’s guess, which candidate is going to get passed the post first.
But regardless of who wins the race, the sights and sounds of the massive popular show of confidence in the democratic system in Iran, is what so many have selflessly given all over the past thirty years for. We still have way to go but somehow it has all been worth it.