- ActivitesElection CoverageIran
- June 8, 2009
- 3 minutes read
MEI: Prospects for Iran’s Presidential Election
In a policy paper for the Middle East Institute, Dr. Walter Posch, Senior Research Fellow at the Austrian Defense Academy, writes that the Islamic Republic of Iran has yet to develop stable political party structures. The lack of strong affiliations to parties results in a highly flexible ad hoc political process, wherein the regime “prefers highly individualized electoral competition to the creation of strong party alliances.”
With conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad having managed to maintain his outsider status even after 4 years in office, his challengers have their work cut out for them. Posch writes that the leading contender, former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi is working hard to establish himself as a fundamentalist/reformist hybrid, standing between two camps. He does this in order to maintain the popular support of the reformist movement developed under his main supporter, former president Muhammad Khatami, without inflaming the passions of the radical right, who stymied Khatami’s own attempts at reform.
At the end of the day, Posch writes, “the reformists’ hopes for success depend solely on voter turnout: the lower this is, the lower their chances are.” The election is too close to call.