Iran to conduct partial recount after leader orders probe into vote fraud

[JURIST] Iran's Guardian Council of the Constitution [official website; in Persian] said Tuesday that it would conduct a partial recount of disputed presidential election results [BBC backgrounder] after the country's spiritual leader and highest authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [official profile; BBC profile] ordered an investigation on Monday into allegations of voter fraud. Khamenei's order came after protests took place [AP report] throughout the country following last weekend's announcement of a victory by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] over reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi [IranTracker profile]. It is likely that an investigation, which would be conducted by the Guardian Council, is an attempt by the supreme leader to reduce the violence that has erupted within the country. Iranian state radio reported that seven people were killed [BBC report] in a violent protest Monday, and Mousavi has called for Tuesday protests to be canceled to avoid further altercations.

Ahmadinejad, who has been president of Iran since 2005, has been a controversial figure. In April, delegates to the UN Durban Review Conference on Racism [official website] walked out [JURIST report] of a speech [text, PDF] by Ahmadinejad after he described Israel as "totally racist." Last June, a division of the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance [official website, in Persian] revoked the license [JURIST report] of Iranian daily newspaper Tehran Emrouz [official website, in Persian] for printing articles that criticized the policies of Ahmadinejad. Allegations of fraud [JURIST report] also surrounded Ahmadinejad's 2005 election victory.

 

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