Majority of Iranian MPs Fail to Attend Ahmadinejad Victory Party

Posted Jun 25, 2009 by Chris Dade
Even politicians traditionally seen as supporters, or at least sympathetic to the views and policies, of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appear to have delivered a snub to the man who was declared the victor in the recent election.
Iran s president  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
File photo
As conflicting statements and stories seem to come out of Iran on an almost hourly basis, one interesting snippet of information that has been reported by the BBC refers to the numbers of MPs from the Iranian Parliament who attended the victory party that was held for the newly reelected President.
After initially reporting that 105 of the possible 290 attendees stayed away from the party, the BBC then corrected their earlier error and confirmed that remarkably only 105 MPs actually attended. What is more, one of the absentees was Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian Parliament, and a man, who whilst criticizing the manner in which the authorities have dealt with the protests against the election result, is nevertheless considered to be broadly in agreement with President Ahmadinejad on many issues.
Coming on a day when defeated Presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi is said to have voiced again his allegations of vote-rigging and claimed that those responsible for fixing the election "stood beside the main instigators of the recent riots and shed people's blood on the ground", the failure to attend the election party of so many MPs with supposedly conservative views must cast some doubt on just how united the Iranian political structure really is.
Even Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is reported in the Iranian press as having told legislators that the voices of the opposition must be heard.
However, as he is later said to have warned that same opposition that the authorities and people of Iran "will never give in to coercive demands with regards to Iran's presidential elections," it appears to be something of an empty gesture. An impression that is reinforced when further extracts of the report from Press TV, a government controlled media outlet in Iran, are studied:Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized the significance of law and order and said violating the law would lead to dictatorship. The leader argued that the country's affairs must be run according to the law of the land as well as the principles of the Islamic revolution, so that the people's demands are met. Ayatollah Khamenei also urged parliamentarians to tolerate voices of opposition and advised them to avoid factional leanings.
With CNN also confirming that the Guardian Council, one of the most powerful bodies in Iran, has "found no major fraud or irregularities in the electoral process" there seems little disputing that Mr Mousavi and his supporters still have some rather large mountains to climb if their challenge to the legitimacy of the recent election is to be sustained.
And the absence of 185 MPs from a victory party may prove to be of little significance when all things are considered.