Wednesday, May 11, 2005

And the Election

What a spectacle! With the second day of the formal registrations behind us, 225 people have so far entered the foray-- mostly men (209). The rank of the remaing16 women hopefuls includes the youngest registrant, an audacious one at the tender age of 18 from Isfahan. The oldest to date is a gentleman (86) who promises a swift end to the Iranian nuclear standoff.

This phase will go on for another 4 days. And then, our famed Guardian Council will have 10 days to ascertain the qualifications of the registrants in accordance with the article 115 of the Constitution.

Among some of the more colorful figures, we have our first villager who insists 15 million would vote for him and my personal favorite, of course, a 72 year old milkman from a principality far from Tehran who made an impression on the reporters with his open zipper during the registrations and he appears quite charming as he frankly admitted to having no place to sleep over the night at in Tehran. You see, honesty has become a rare commodity around these parts.

We'll see if anyone has offered to put him up tomorrow, hopefully. The gentleman was adamant about his ability to get ALL Iranians to vote for him-- with a little help from the media, that is.

Must be a cultural thing. Because every time I hear people discuss Iranian politics these days—especially on those expat satellite programs, the phrase most (over) used has been "Iranians want…." It always confuses me. No two Iranians I know can ever agree on much of anything. Well almost nothing. Money is an obsession with everyone, young and old. So much so that some election oversight official had to publicly announce and emphasize yesterday that the government will in no way be providing loans or cash to those who might choose to register.

And of course, the ubiquitous folded jean look is the latest craze. Everyone folds it. Even those whose pants have been falling off their buttocks while showing off their cell phones.

So we also now have Messrs Rafsanjani, Moin and (the old revolutionary guard commander) Rezai officially in the race.
I am not much of an enthusiast for the "official" politics here. But I'll try to keep my gentle readers informed. Stay tuned for more excitement.

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