Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for ongoing developments in the aftermath of the Iranian presidential election. In the meantime I’ll work on some of the trends which appear here, the first one being how terrible the BBC’s and other terrestrial news stations’ ongoing coverage remains of this saga. From Nicholas Owen presuming days ago that the election was settled, to referring to Ahmadinejad as the President of Iran when visiting Russia, to presuming that they have no means of querying the validity of the election results, something is seriously wrong with the BBC’s editorial viewpoint of events in Iran. Twitter of course has shown the disparity between fast moving events on the ground, and even newspapers’ coverage, which is often wildly inaccurate, often aiming for conclusions where there aren’t any.
What we can safely say now is that Ahmadinejad really did steal the election, although whether or not he’ll get away with it is anyone’s guess. And the numbers really are out there:
Amid a swirl of rumour, two alternative sets of statistics purporting to represent the reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi as the “true” winner of Iran‘s disputed presidential election have been circulating in Tehran.
Their authenticity is impossible to gauge. 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.
The unofficial figures also record a different turnout statistic – 81% (37.4m) in contrast to the 85% given by the government.
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.
I find it shocking that the BBC wouldn’t even mention that this information is out there, nor how widespread it is. It’s coming to a crunch now, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s offer of a recount (pointless considering the bubbling news that ballots were burned) being rejected by Mousavi’s camp. Will a revolution be necessary to undo the coup, and will the BBC (and others) continue to present Ahmadinejad as the legitimate president of Iran? Whatever happened to journalism?! Oh yeh – Hutton.