Iran triggers a touch of hypocrisy

Why does no one complain about Tunisia, where Zine al Abidine Ben Ali won 94.5 per cent of the vote in 2004; Egypt, where Hosni Mubarak scored 88 per cent the following year; and Algeria, where Abdelaziz Bouteflika achieved more than 90 per cent this year?

These questions have nagged some Arabs (and westerners) as Iran’s drama has unfolded, captivating the world and provoking condemnation.

Yet it was not so much the rigging but the furious reaction to the fraud that raised interest in Iran’s election crisis.

In many cases in the Arab world, the assumption that the outcome of polls is a foregone conclusion has created an unfortunate state of political apathy among the public, leaving few willing to vote and few credible candidates wanting to contest presidential elections.

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