Iranian presidential elections are approaching and judging by poll numbers published even by state media, enthusiasm nationwide is dismal. A recent survey conducted by a state-backed polling organisation suggests only 41 per cent of eligible voters plan to cast ballots in the 18 June contest to succeed President Hassan Rouhani.
An extensive study conducted by the organisation Gamaan yielded even more abysmal numbers, suggesting only 25 per cent of voters will show up at the polls. That’s pathetic for a country that has for 42 years aspired to be some kind of democratically anchored Islamic Utopia.
Such numbers are even more extraordinary when considering that Iranians often fear that failing to vote – and obtain the requisite stamp in the identification booklet that serves as a birth certificate and family record – could mean retribution at work or university.