ELECTION RESULTS (March-June 2002)
Algeria: Elections to the 389-seat National People’s Assembly were held on May 30. The long-ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) won an absolute majority, with 199 seats, while its recent coalition partner, the National Democratic Rally, won only 47 seats, down from 155 in the previous body. The El-Islah movement and the Movement for Society and Peace—moderate Islamic parties—won 43 and 38 seats, respectively. Two key opposition parties boycotted the elections in protest of possible electoral fraud. The elections had the lowest turnout in Algeria’s four decades of independence, with fewer than half of registered voters taking part.
Bahamas: Elections to the 40-seat House of Assembly, held on May 2, saw the fortunes of the two major parties completely reversed. The governing Free National Movement dropped from 35 seats to 8, while the Progressive Liberal Party increased from 5 members to 28. Independent candidates took the remaining 4 seats.
Bolivia: Presidential and legislative elections were scheduled for June 30. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Burkina Faso: Elections to the 111-seat Assembly of People’s Deputies were held on May 5, with a record 30 political parties competing. Preliminary results gave the ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress 57 seats, down from 101. The two major opposition groups, the Alliance for Democracy and Federation-African Democratic Rally and the Party for Democracy and Progress, secured 17 and 10 seats, respectively. The remaining 27 seats were split by nine smaller parties. The elections were acknowledged by the opposition and international observers to be much freer and fairer than in the past. [End Page 178]
Cameroon: Legislative elections were scheduled for June 23. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Chad: In April 21 elections to the 155-seat National Assembly, President Idriss Déby’s Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) won 112 seats, the Rally for Democracy and Progress received 10, the Front of Action Forces for the Republic finished with 9, and other opposition parties won the remainder. In 65 districts, candidates belonging to or allied with the MPS ran unopposed.
Colombia: In March 10 legislative elections, the major parties lost huge numbers of seats to independents. In the 161-member Chamber of Representatives, the Liberal Party (PL) received 54 seats, the Social Conservative Party (PSC) received 21 seats, and the rest went to smaller parties and independents. In the 102-seat Senate, the PL won 28 seats, while the PSC won 13. Many newly elected independents were backed by independent presidential candidate Alvaro Uribe. In the first round of presidential balloting on May 26, Uribe received 53 percent of the vote, thereby avoiding a runoff. His nearest competitor, Horacio Serpa of the PL, garnered 31.7 percent.
Comoros: On April 14, Azali Assoumani won 75 percent of the vote in a disputed presidential election from which his two main opponents, Said Ali Kemal and Mahamoud Mradabi, had withdrawn in protest at the last minute. Assoumani, who seized power in a 1999 coup, had stepped down in January to campaign. After the original election commission was dissolved, a new electoral body confirmed Assoumani as the winner on May 9.
Congo-Brazzaville: In March 10 presidential balloting, incumbent president Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the United Democratic Forces (FDU) received 89 percent of the votes, defeating six minor candidates. Sassou-Nguesso’s main opponent, former prime minister Andre Milongo, withdrew two days before the election in protest of electoral irregularities. Two rounds of legislative balloting were also held, on May 26 and June 23, respectively. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Costa Rica: In a presidential election runoff held on April 7, Abel Pacheco of the Social Christian Unity Party defeated Rolando Monge of the National Liberation Party, 58 percent to 42 percent.
Czech Republic: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for June 14-15. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Dominican Republic: In May 16 elections to the bicameral National Congress, President Hipólito Mejía’s Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) maintained its dominance in both houses. In the 32-member Senate, the PRD went from 24 seats to 29, while the Social Christian Reformist Party [End Page 179] (PRSC) won only 2 seats and the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) gained only 1 (both parties had 3 members in the previous body). In the 150-member Chamber of Deputies, the PRD won 73 seats; the PLD, 41; and the PRSC, 36.
East Timor: In April 14 presidential balloting, independent candidate Xanana Gusmao won 82.7 percent of the vote, defeating Francisco Xavier do Amaral of the Timorese Social Democrat Association, who received 17.3 percent. Although Gusmao ran as an independent candidate, he was backed by 11 of the country’s 16 political parties.
Guinea: Legislative elections were scheduled for June 30. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Hungary: In two rounds of parliamentary elections, held on April 7 and 21, respectively, a coalition of the Hungarian Socialist Party and the Alliance of Free Democrats gained a slim majority, winning a total of 198 seats in the 386-seat National Assembly. The formerly governing Federation of Young Democrats-Hungarian Civic Party (FIDESZ-MPP) received the remaining 188 seats.
Lesotho: Parliamentary elections took place on May 25, the first to be held under a new electoral system designed to create a more representative parliament. Of the 80 first-past-the-post seats in the newly expanded 120-member National Assembly, the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) won 77, and the opposition Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) secured 1. Results for the remaining 2 seats were invalidated because candidates had died. Of the 40 seats filled on a proportional basis and reserved for opposition parties, the Basotho National Party (BNP) secured 21 seats, the LPC won 4 additional seats, and other opposition parties split the remainder. The LPC and the BNP objected to the outcome of the elections, but international monitors endorsed them as transparent and credible.
Madagascar: Following the first round of presidential elections on December 16, the two leading candidates, incumbent president Didier Ratsiraka of the Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution and independent candidate Marc Ravalomanana, both declared victory. After canceling a runoff election and conducting a recount, the High Constitutional Court concluded that Ravalomanana had actually received 51.5 percent of the vote (thus giving him a first-round victory) versus 35.9 percent for Ratsiraka. As this issue went to press, the situation remained unresolved, with both men continuing to claim victory and setting up rival cabinets.
Mali: In April 28 presidential balloting, independent candidate and former military ruler Amadou Toumani Touré received 28.7 percent of the vote; [End Page 180] Soumaila Cissé of incumbent president Alpha Oumar Konaré’s Alliance for Democracy (Adema) finished second with 21.3 percent; Gathering for Mali candidate Ibrahim Boubacar Keita received 21 percent; and a number of other candidates finished with smaller shares. These results, which were released after a lengthy recount by the Constitutional Court, sent Touré and Cissé into a May 12 runoff. In the second round, Touré defeated Cissé, 64.3 percent to 35.7 percent.
Papua New Guinea: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for June 15. Results will be reported in a future issue.
São Tomé and Príncipe: In March 3 elections to the 55-member National Assembly, the Force for Change Democratic Movement/Democratic Convergence Party of President Fradique de Menezes won 23 seats, the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe won 24 seats, and the Ue/Kedadji party won the remaining 8. On March 27, at the request of the president, Gabriel Costa formed a coalition government supported by all three major parties.
Sierra Leone: On May 14, in the first balloting since the end of a ten-year civil war, incumbent president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) won with 70.6 percent of the vote. His nearest rival, Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People’s Congress (APC), secured 22.4 percent. Pallo Bangura, the candidate of the Revolutionary United Front Party (recently formed from Foday Sankoh’s rebel group, the Revolutionary United Front), won only 1.7 percent. In legislative elections held the same day, the SLPP secured 83 seats in the 112-member Parliament, the APC won 27, and 2 went to the Peace and Liberation Party, led by one-time military leader Johnny Paul Koroma.
Ukraine: In the March 31 parliamentary elections, the “Our Ukraine” bloc, led by Viktor Yushchenko, captured 112 of the 450 seats in the parliament. The pro-presidential bloc “For a United Ukraine,” led by Volodymyr Lytvyn, received 104 seats; the Communist Party of Ukraine, led by Petro Symonenko, won 66 seats; and the Socialist Party, led by Alexander Moroz, won 23. Other blocs to pass the 4 percent threshold were the opposition bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, with 22 seats, and the Social Democrats United, led by Viktor Medvedchuk, with 20 seats. The remaining seats were won by small parties or independent candidates.
Vanuatu: Elections to the 52-seat Parliament were held on May 2. Preliminary results gave the Union of Moderate Parties 15 seats, closely followed by the Vanua’aku Party of Prime Minister Edward Natapei, with 14. The National United Party received 8, and the remainder went to independents and smaller parties. [End Page 181]
Zimbabwe: In presidential balloting held on March 9-10, incumbent Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwean African National Union-Patriotic Front won 56 percent of the vote. The opposition candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change, received 42 percent. The election captured international attention when President Mugabe and the Zimbabwean parliament ejected international observers and charged Tsvangirai with treason. The opposition, along with international observers from Western Europe and the United States, rejected the elections as severely flawed, but monitors from neighboring African countries called the elections free and fair.
UPCOMING ELECTIONS (July 2002-June 2003)
Armenia: presidential/parliamentary, March 2003
Bahrain: parliamentary, 24 October 2002
Benin: parliamentary, March 2003
Bosnia and Herzegovina: tri-presidential, October 2002
Brazil: presidential/legislative, October 2002
Djibouti: parliamentary, December 2002 (latest)
Ecuador: presidential/legislative, October 2002
El Salvador: legislative, March 2003
Estonia: parliamentary, March 2003
Jamaica: parliamentary, December 2002 (latest)
Jordan: parliamentary, September 2002
Kiribati: legislative, September 2002
Latvia: parliamentary, October 2002 (estimated)
Macedonia: parliamentary, December 2002 (latest)
Micronesia: legislative, 4 March 2003; presidential, May 2003
Morocco: parliamentary, November 2002
Pakistan: legislative, 1 October 2002
Paraguay: presidential, May 2003
Slovakia: parliamentary, September 2002
South Korea: presidential, 18 December 2002
Tuvalu: parliamentary, August 2002
Yemen: parliamentary, 27 April 2003
Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in developing nations and the postcommunist world. Elections in nondemocratic nations are included when they exhibit a significant element of genuine competition or, in the case of upcoming elections, when they represent an important test of progress toward democracy. Much of the data for Election Watch is provided by the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), a private, nonprofit education and research foundation that assists in monitoring, supporting, and strengthening the mechanics of the electoral process worldwide. For additional information, contact: IFES, 1101 15th Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 828-8507; www.ifes.org.