The Highest Bidder
The Warwick Daily News — December 15, 1951

The Mossadegh Project | February 11, 2021                           


Lead and sole editorial on Iran in The Warwick Daily News of Warwick, Queensland, Australia.

Australian media archive



How To Win An Election

While Premier Mossadeq was alternately weeping and fainting and members of the Majlis, Persia’s House of Representatives, were earnestly cracking each other’s skulls this week, the Persian electorate itself was at the polls in the process of electing the next Parliament.

It has been stated that there is nothing quite certain about a Persian general election, nothing quite so delightfully unpredictable. Certainly there are few electoral systems which offer such magnificent opportunities for a Government to rig results.

After the votes have been counted, the candidate with the highest number is not automatically elected. An election supervising committee thoroughly investigates the result, counting, and the way the election was carried out. If the committee, which is appointed by the Government, is not satisfied it declares the result null and void and orders a new election.

There are other ingenious ways of rigging Persian elections. If the vote is going against a candidate he can always hire a gang of thugs to beat the poll clerks and destroy the ballot boxes.

There are also brokers who have a large number of electors on their books. The candidates bid for the services of the broker. The highest bidder gets the votes, and the voters get 10/- each from the broker.

Rich landlords obligingly fill in the voting papers for their employees.

The situation is further confused because no overall voting figures are given. After the last election foreign correspondents endeavoured to ascertain how many voted, but the best they could do was to arrive at a figure somewhere between 69,000 and 400,000.

All told Premier Mossadeq’s Government has a great chance of being returned, but there may be some delay before the result is announced as polls in Persia sometimes last two weeks, and sometimes two months.

A Study of Electoral Methods in Iran | CIA Report, Nov. 1953
A Study of Electoral Methods in Iran | CIA Report, Nov. 1953

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Related links:

Persian Oil | The Geraldton Guardian, September 1, 1951

The Odd Spot | Australian Column by Doug Eason on Iran (1951-1953)

Abadan Evacuation | The Morning Bulletin, October 5, 1951



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