Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

REVISITED

In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

Read more

FOCUS

Bosnia: Hopes of change among disempowered citizens

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

¡Gracias, Gabo!

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Socialist rebellion grows

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Analysis Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Police seek arrest warrant for South Korea ferry captain

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Low turnout reported in Algeria as Bouteflika seeks fourth term

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

Asia-pacific

'I vote, therefore I am': Iran's vote boycott debate

© Photo: Facebook screengrab

Text by Bahar MAKOOI

Latest update : 2013-06-12

As Iranians prepare to pick a new president in elections on Friday, members of the opposition green movement are rallying on the web and urging young people to resist the temptation to boycott the poll.

The overt excitement that preceded Iran’s 2009 presidential election is nowhere to be seen as the clock quickly ticks down to this year’s poll on June 14.

The streets of Tehran are calm, while universities, where members of the opposition green movement often rallied in the wake of the contested vote four years ago, have been pre-emptively shut.

THE OBSERVERS IN FARSI

FRANCE 24's citizen-jounalist network The Observers has launched a Farsi-language version of its wesbite.

Some of the repressed enthusiasm has leaked into the Internet, in particular social networks like Facebook.

According to Mohammad-Reza Yazdanpanah, an Iranian journalist close to political reformers, young people are weary of expressing themselves out in the open.

“The hard-line ideology of Said Jalili has scared them into silence,” Yazdanpanah said in reference to the conservative candidate who is unofficially backed by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and considered the poll’s frontrunner.

The web has thus become the site of a lively debate over the merits of boycotting or participating in the election, with the green movement urging young people to cast a ballot.

The “I vote” campaign

The exchanges on the web are nevertheless full of subtle references that are likely to be lost on most observers.

Many young people who supported reformer candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi’s green movement in the 2009 election have replaced their profile pictures on social media websites with the words “I vote” over a green background.

The campaign, which journalist Negar Mortazavi claims started in Canada among political exiles, is in response to widespread fears of vote fraud and calls to boycott the election.

Many in the “I vote” camp have also added a vertical purple stripe to their logo (see below), in reference to the campaign colours of moderate-conservative candidate Hassan Rowhani. He has become the candidate of the green movement ever since Mohammad-Reza Aref, a former vice president, dropped out of the race to avoid splitting reform-minded votes.

The logo has quickly been appropriated by many, including those calling for a boycott.

The image below was slightly changed by one Facebook user to inform friends: “I [DO NOT] vote”

Using a similar font, another user expressed herself the following way: “I vote [THEREFORE I AM]” recalling the famous phrase by French philosopher René Descartes.

"F*ck it; let's vote again," another Facebook user wrote in green, suggesting his ballot would go to Rowhani.

On a more pessimistic note, another user posted the widely-used mantra of the 2009 protests: “Where is my vote?”, followed with the phrase “Where is my vote II coming soon” underneath.

Date created : 2013-06-12

  • IRAN

    Iranian women seek larger political role ahead of vote

    Read more

  • IRAN

    Reformist Aref drops out of Iran presidential race

    Read more

  • Iran

    Iran's Ahmadinejad in helicopter accident

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)