The mullah's idea of a 'recount'

No doubt some of the rubes out in the Iranian countryside will fall for this gimmick but no one else will believe that anything like a real recount of the vote is going to take place.

First of all, as we should never tire of remembering, the election apparatus is in the hands of a handpicked (by the Supreme Leader) bunch of fantatics called the Guardian Council. They determine who runs for any office in Iran. They certify the validity of all elections.

The Interior Ministry handles the nuts and bolts of the election - bureaucrat chosen by Ahmadinejad. In fact, other bureaucrats who work at the ministry have been kept away from the place - far away - since the election. Only those completely loyal to Ahmadinejad are allowed in.

The Interior Ministry has had the actual ballot boxes in their possession since Fiday. And now, they are piously proclaiming that they are "ready to recount the disputed ballot boxes claimed by some candidates, in the presence of their representatives".

Well sure. Now that the Interior Ministry has had the boxes for a couple of days and can stuff them to their hearts content, bring it on!

I wonder what the Iranian version of "Mickey Mouse" is?

David Blair of the UK Telegraph tells us:

In a statement released through state media, the powerful committee of 12 clerics said the move may lead to changes in the candidates' tally. A spokesman said it was "ready to recount the disputed ballot boxes claimed by some candidates, in the presence of their representatives".

"It is possible that there may be some changes in the tally after the recount," Abbasali Kadkhodai, a spokesman, was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

But a senior reformist ally of the defeated candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the former prime minister, and Mehdi Karoubi said they wanted a rerun rather than a recount of "a few ballot boxes".

The council was asked to formally cancel the result by Mr Mousavi.

He has promised not to give up the struggle despite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad being declared the winner with 63 per cent of the vote at the weekend.

No word on exactly how many ballot boxes will be recounted, whether it will be a representative sample, what areas the ballot boxes are from, or any other information that would lead anyone except the self-deluded to believe the "recount" is anything more than a show to placate public opinion.

One bright spot; since the ballots are filled in by hand, there's no chance of any hanging chads to complicate things.

On the other hand, one might wonder how 46 million ballots filled out by hand could be counted  in a couple of hours as they apparently were on election day when Ahmadinejad was declared the winner so soon after the polls closed.