Iranian member of Dutch Parliament, Farah Karimi: The European Union is Still Waiting!
The first round of Iran's feigned elections is over. The main European powers as previously announced are waiting for the second round of elections to find out who, as the head of state, they can negotiate with on economic and nuclear issues.Well said.
According to democratic theory, elections are the means by which the will of the people can determine the government. In elections, therefore, what is important is not the name or names that – without regard to process – are returned by the ballot box, but rather the power of the people to freely select their officials and influence the methods of governance.
Hardliners wrongly point to the size of voter turnout as proof that the public supports the existing system of government. But for the majority of voters, participation in the election is merely a sign that they prefer to bring about change in the country through peaceful means, such as the ballot box. READ MORE
Regardless of circumstances, their desire for peaceful change makes them willing to try even methods that seem to have a small chance of succeeding.There's no doubt that people would be far more eager to participate if they believed that their vote would have a real impact on the direction of the country. For example, if Iranians had the opportunity to vote in a referendum to change the constitution, we could expect a turnout of over ninety percent.
But the recent elections, as never before, underscore the problems with the existing political structure in Iran. It is clear that power in Iran is held by unelected bodies and that this power has not been legitimized by free elections. Because of the manner in which these elections were held, their legitimacy has been questioned not only by those critical of the government, but also by some of its staunchest defenders like Mehdi Karrubi. So it would be very odd if the European countries, without regard for the methods used, declared them as fair.
The European Union seems to have adopted a wait and see approach to the elections. Their only concern is whether the elections will produce a leader with whom they can negotiate. This attitude cannot be seen as anything but a betrayal of the basic tenets of democracy and falls short of Europe’s professed concern for democracy and human rights.
Farah Karimi is an Iranian born politician who is an elected member of the Dutch Parliament. She is a frequent contributor to Rooz.