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The Former Akbar Shah

27 June 2005
tehran10 028

The new Rafsanjani on the cover of Shargh daily

One of the most compelling pictures of this election was forgotten in the middle of the heated discussion in the last days of campaigning.

Rafsanjani, the second most influential person of the contemporary Iranian politics and one of its main founders, went to Tehran university in the last days of the second-round campaigning and, for the first time, was faced with the reality of a democratic process: election campaigning.

Akbar Shah, as many call him jokingly in Iran, had never tried to appeal so much to the average voters. He campaigned as if he was not the veteran politician who had always refused to see himself equal to the publlic. He was always more important than the audience and his famous golden classic chair was a clear sign of this distance.

Now he had to sit down on a regular chair, listen to harsh and open criticism by the angry crowd of students much younger than his grandchildren -- and hold the microphone for them so the audience could here them.

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