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A path to change or more of the same?

The level of debate in the run-up to Friday's presidential poll has surprised even the hard-line president.

 

A photo of Mousavi and his wife leaving a campaign talk hand in hand has raced through the media and the blogosphere in the past four weeks. The act was a statement, and others have followed. The wife of Karroubi, Fatemeh, has begun to show her support for her husband’s campaign.

Perhaps more surprising is that as women become more visible in the political arena, there’s no shortage of men eager to help.

Mousavi for one knows that by involving his wife, Rahnavard, he is winning the endorsement of a large and important population in Iran. Some gone as far as to compare her as Iran’s Michelle Obama.

“I know that women and young people in Iran are interested in my ideology and beliefs, and I am sure they will show their support,” Rahnavard recently told the BBC Persian news service.

Down to the wire

It’s very hard for analysts to predict who will win Iranian elections. In the final days of Iran's short campaign period, it is not unusual for candidates to drop out of the race. Rezai is a case in point: he vowed to contest the last election only to drop out two days before polls opened.

In the meantime, the campaign season has provided a period of political expression, and Iranians have learned not to let such an opportunity pass them by. 

More on the 2009 Iranian elections:

Roll up: the Iranian election is about to begin

Iranians anoint their 'Michelle Obama'

Contribution from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard:

Seven Visas: Reporting from Iran 

Attempting to silence Iran’s 'Weblogistan'

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/middle-east/090608/the-iranian-election-path-change-or-more-the-same