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 Iran braces for record-low election turnout infographic
Graphic shows election turnout in Iran since 1980.


Iran’s clerical rulers brace for record-low election turnout

By Jordi Bou

March 1, 2024 - Iran is scrambling to boost turnout ahead of legislative elections, amid widespread discontent over an ailing economy, growing political distrust and a quashed protest movement.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has urged voters to come out in droves on Mar 1 and show the foes of the Islamic republic a “strong and fervent” election process for parliament and the key Assembly of Experts.

But with anti-establishment sentiment among the public rising and unprecedented protests erupting against the authorities in recent years, the legitimacy of Iran's rulers has been severely undermined.

Iran's powerful conservative and ultra-conservative forces are expected to tighten their hold on power over the weakened reformist camp, many of whose candidates were not allowed to run.

The elections are the first since the 2022 crackdown on protests that followed the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.

PUBLISHED: 29/02/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images