A visual report from Iran’s state television earlier this week showed a presenter reporting high turnout for the presidential election while at an empty polling station.
“We are witnessing the enthusiastic participation of people who eagerly want to participate in determining the fate of the country,” a state TV reporter said in the video while reporting from an empty polling station in a city in the central Fars province.
Ultraconservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi won Iran’s presidential election with 61.95 percent of the votes in an election that saw the lowest turnout in the history of the Islamic Republic.
The interior ministry announced the result on Saturday, saying voter turnout was at 48.8 percent, the lowest turnout for a presidential election in the history of the Islamic Republic.
The record low turnout was seen as a victory for various Iranian opposition groups who had called for a boycott of the vote.
The Iranian opposition typically urges Iranians to boycott elections, arguing that they do not bring about change and only serve to legitimize the regime. This belief is partially due to Iran’s vetting process for candidates, under which only candidates who are approved by the Guardian Council – an unelected body that answers to the supreme leader only – can run for election.