Iranian Interior Ministry Leaks On Election Outcome?
The Guardian is reporting that, according to unnamed sources in Iran’s Interior Ministry, Friday’s election results were the result of a computer program asked to elicit a “plausible result” and were prepared prior to the election.
The figures have been accompanied by claims from unnamed interior ministry sources that fake statistics were fed into a software program and then distributed to vote counts among polling stations to produce a plausible outcome. The same sources have also claimed that the interior ministry’s statements announcing the results were prepared before Friday night’s count.
The same sources have also provided election results showing a Mousavi blowout:
One set, attributed to an “informed source” in the interior ministry and appearing on Iranian opposition websites, shows Mousavi winning 21.3m votes, or 57.2% of the total — enough to give him outright victory without a second-round run-off.
According to these figures, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won 10.5m votes (28%). The two other candidates, Mohsen Rezai and Mehdi Karroubi, are reported as gaining 2.7m (7.2%) and 2.2m (6%) respectively.
In contrast to the official result, the figures also report 600,000 spoilt ballots. Unusually, the interior ministry’s official announcement made no mention of invalid votes.
Only time will tell if these claims are genuine, but a blowout this size would certainly explain why the Iranian government wasted no time in violently cracking down on peaceful protests. And it’s worth mentioning that the poll that my colleague Dave Schuler linked to earlier today showed Ahmadinejad with only 34% support with a 3.5% margin of error three weeks ago, so 28% for Ahmadinejad is not outside the realm of possibility. Although that same poll touted only 14% for Mousavi, there was a subtantial amount of support for “Don’t Know” and the other minor candidates. While it’s dangerous to try to analogize Iran’s elections too closely to ours, I do agree with Matthew Yglesias that “[i]n the domestic American context if you had an incumbent polling at 34 percent, you’d say he was in huge trouble no matter how badly his opponent was doing.”
(link via Andrew Sullivan, who is doing a remarkable job collecting reports on the ongoing Iranian turmoil)