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With or without reformist candidate, this is not a real election

24 May 2005

Many Persian internet sites were quick to react angrily to Guardian Council's decision to eliminate the reformist candidate, Moin, from the race. Reformists slammed the disqualification as a "coup d'etat,". Wow! I was so surprised to see these sudden and quick reactions. As if assuming Moin was selected, then this election would have been fair and legitimate election.

Let's keep in mind, 1000 more were rejected including 89 women. The EU's spokesman reacted by saying that they were "disappointed" at the exclusion of reformist representatives. Who are we kidding? Why is everybody pretending that this election is a democratic process?

A popular Persian blogger, Pouya, summarized it better by saying, "without the complete people's direct participation, this process is no more than an internal deal making scheme, let's not pretend Iranian people are part of it." Another blogger thinks the whole thing is a game and says, "The GC would never make such a big decision without consulting with the Leader in advance to get his approval", but, yet Khatami acted as if he also was surprised by the outcome.

At the end, whatever game the GC plays, the turnout will still be low and the whole election will not be legitimate.

As someone said in this article, "Why should I care?” asked Haleh, 40. “It doesn’t matter who we vote for, the system will still stay the same. I prefer not to vote at all.”

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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