Election Watch

Issue Date January 2021
Volume 32
Issue 1
Page Numbers 164-67
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ELECTION RESULTS (October–December 2020)

Bolivia: In an October 18 rerun of the 2019 presidential election, Luis Arce of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), the party of exiled former president Evo Morales, won with 55.1 percent of the vote. Former president Carlos Mesa of Civic Community followed with 28.8 percent of the vote and Luis Fernando Camacho of the political alliance We Believe (which includes the party leading the interim government established after Morales resigned) received 14 percent. In concurrent legislative elections, MAS won 75 seats in the 130-seat lower house and 21 seats in the 36-seat upper house. Civic Community received 39 seats in the former and 11 seats in the latter. We Believe won 16 seats in the former and 4 seats in the latter. Turnout was 84 percent. Domestic and international observers deemed the polls free and fair.

Burkina Faso: Provisional results from the November 22 presidential race show that incumbent Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of the People’s Movement for Progress (MPP) won a second term with 57.9 percent of the vote. Eddie Komboigo of the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) and Zéphirin Diabré of the Union for Progress and Reform (UPC) received 15.5 and 12.5 percent, respectively. In concurrent polls for the 127-seat National Assembly, provisional results show that the MPP won 56 seats, the CDP won 20 seats, and the UPC won 13 seats. About one-fifth of the country was not polled due to the threat of jihadist violence. International observers called the execution of the elections “chaotic.” Turnout was about 50 percent.

Burma: In November 11 parliamentary elections, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) expanded its majorities in the legislature. In the 440-seat lower house, 315 seats were contested (110 seats are for military appointees and the races for 15 seats were canceled). [End Page 164] The NLD won 258 seats, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) received 26 seats, and the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) won 13 seats. The Arakan National Party (ANP) won 4 seats and the remaining 18 seats went to smaller parties. Of the 224 seats in the upper house, the military controls 56 and 7 could not be filled due to canceled elections. Of the 161 seats contested, the NLD won 138, the UNDP won 7, the ANP won 4, the SNLD won 2, and other parties received 10.

Côte d’Ivoire: According to official results from the October 31 presidential election, incumbent president Alassane Ouattara won a controversial third term with 94.3 percent of the vote. Kouadio Konan Bertin received 2 percent of the vote and former president Henri Konan Bédié followed with 1.7 percent of the vote. Former prime minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan won 1 percent of the vote. Bédié and N’Guessan encouraged their supporters to boycott the polls, as many in the opposition contend Ouattara was unlawfully seeking to exceed the constitution’s two-term limit. According to independent observers, voter intimidation, violence, and fraud marred the results. Twenty-three percent of polling stations did not open due to threats of attacks, and several others were ransacked. Turnout was 53.9 percent.

Georgia: The first round of parliamentary elections was held October 31. The Georgian Dream party of Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia retained its majority in the 150-seat Parliament, receiving 48.2 percent of the vote and 73 seats. In the second round held November 21, which the opposition boycotted, Georgian Dream won all 17 contested seats for a grand total of 90. The United National Movement party, led by former president Mikheil Saakashvili, received 27.2 percent of the vote and 36 seats. Smaller parties won the remaining 24 seats. Independent observers called the elections “competitive” despite opposition allegations of fraud. Turnout was 56 percent for the first round and 26 percent for the second (a historic low).

Ghana: In the December 7 presidential race, incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo defeated James Mahama, 51.3 percent to 47.4 percent. In concurrent elections for the 275-seat parliament, Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party won 137 seats and Mahama’s National Democratic Congress won 136 seats. An independent won one seat and the final seat has not been called at the time of writing. Independent observers called the polls well organized, but the opposition has rejected the results and at least five have been killed in postelection violence.

Guinea: On October 24, six days after the October 18 presidential election, the electoral commission declared that incumbent Alpha Condé had won a controversial third term with 59.5 percent of the vote. Condé argued, [End Page 165] over the objections of his opponents, that a constitutional change approved via a March referendum allowed him to run again. Cellou Dalein Diallo, who received 33.5 percent, declared victory October 19. On October 24 he claimed that the results had been marred by fraud. While the African Union affirmed the integrity of the polls, the postelection period was marred by violence and repression, including at least twelve deaths during opposition protests and the house arrest of Diallo. Internet and telephone networks were disrupted, and a popular news website was suspended.

Kyrgyzstan: On October 6, the electoral commission annulled results of the October 4 parliamentary elections following unrest in the capital, Bishkek. Protesters, spurred in part by reports of poll irregularities, occupied the parliament building and president’s office. President Sooronbay Jeenbekov resigned. The election results for the 120-seat parliament showed the Unity party winning 24.5 percent, the My Homeland party winning 23.8 percent, and the Kyrgyzstan party winning 8.7 percent. Those three are considered supportive of the government. The opposition United Kyrgyzstan won 7.3 percent. New elections were scheduled for December 20 but were pushed into 2021 due to new constitutional amendments.

Lithuania: In parliamentary elections held October 11 and 25 for the 141-seat unicameral Seimas, the Homeland Union party won 24.9 percent of the first-round proportional vote and 50 seats overall. Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis’s Union of Farmers and Greens won 17.4 percent of the first-round vote and 32 seats in total. The Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Movement won 9.3 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, and both received 13 seats. Smaller parties took the remaining 33 seats. Turnout was 47.8 percent in the first round and 39.2 percent in the second.

Moldova: In the second round of the presidential election, held November 15, Maia Sandu of the Action and Solidarity Party defeated incumbent Igor Dodon of the pro-Russian Socialist Party, 57.7 percent to 42.2 percent. In the first round held November 1, Sandu led Dodon 36.1 percent to 32.6 percent. Turnout was 53 percent in the second round and 43 percent in the first.

Seychelles: In the presidential election held from October 22 to 24, Wavel Ramkalawan defeated President Danny Faure, 54.9 percent to 43.5 percent, marking the first opposition victory in the country’s history. In concurrent elections for the 35-seat National Assembly, Ramkalawan’s coalition, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa, won 54.8 percent and 25 seats and Faure’s United Seychelles received 42.3 percent and 10 seats. Turnout for both polls was 88 percent.

Tanzania: The electoral commission declared President John Magufuli the winner of the October 28 presidential race with 84.4 percent of the vote. Tundu Lissu received 13 percent. In concurrent legislative elections [End Page 166] for the 393-seat National Assembly, Magufuli’s Revolutionary Party of Tanzania won 96.9 percent of the vote and 350 seats. Lissu’s Party for Democracy and Progress (Chadema) received 19 seats but, in protest of the results, expelled the party members who opted to fill them. The elections were marred by fraud and irregularities, according to opposition parties and international NGOs. During campaign season, several opposition party leaders and supporters were arbitrarily arrested. At least four were killed by authorities and internet access and media were censored.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (December 2020–April 2021)

Niger: presidential/parliamentary, 27 December 2020

Central African Republic: presidential/legislative, 27 December 2020

Kazakhstan: legislative, 10 January 2021

Uganda: presidential/legislative, 14 January 2021

Ecuador: presidential/legislative, 7 February 2021

El Salvador: legislative, 28 February 2021

Bulgaria: parliamentary, 28 March 2021*

Cape Verde: presidential/legislative, 31 March 2021*

Congo (Brazzaville): presidential, 31 March 2021*

Samoa: parliamentary, 9 April 2021

Peru: presidential/legislative, 11 April 2021

Albania: parliamentary, 25 April 2020

Benin: presidential, 30 April 2021*

Chad: presidential, 30 April 2021*

Djibouti: presidential, 30 April 2021*

*tentative [End Page 167]

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in developing nations and the postcommunist world. Some of the data for Election Watch come from 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, visit www.ifes.org.