At Foreign Policy, Karim Sadjadpour foresees a contested result in tomorrow's Iranian election, which pits current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a populist with conservative supporters and a rural base, against foremost challenger and former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, a moderate reformist with urban appeal.
Election fraud is rampant in Iran, Sadjadpour says, reporting that some reformists believe a 5 million-vote cushion is needed to offset ballot stuffing and vote cancelation. Mousavi's supporters appear to be many and enthusiastic--backers of both Mousavi and Ahmadinejad have taken to the streets for rallies and demonstrations--but without credible polling, it's hard to know how close the election really is.
Hence, the possibility of a contested result, to which Iranians might
react differently than Gore supporters did to the 2000 presidential
race, given the way Iran's government is set up:
Given the depth of polarization in Iran, the final results will likely be hotly contested by the losing side. Florida in 2000 could be most instructive. But while in America the memory of unelected elders in robes deciding the country's outlook was an historical anomaly, for Iranians it has been, and will likely continue to be, a way of life.