ELECTION RESULTS (March–June 2008)
Bhutan: The country’s first-ever elections for the lower house of parliament, the 47-seat National Assembly, were held on March 24. The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT, translated as the Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party), led by Jigmi Y. Thinley, won 67 percent of the vote and 45 seats. The People’s Democratic Party, led by Sangay Ngedup, won 33 percent and 2 seats. Voter turnout was 79 percent.
Dominican Republic: On May 16, President Leonel Antonio Fernández Reyna of the Dominican Liberation Party was reelected with 53.8 percent of the vote. Miguel Vargas Maldonado of the Dominican Revolutionary Party won 40 percent, and Amable Aristy Castro of the Social Christian Reformist Party won 5 percent.
Equatorial Guinea: In May 4 elections for the 100-seat Chamber of People’s Representatives, the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea, together with the Democratic Opposition, a loose alliance of several political organizations with close ties to President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, won 99 seats. The opposition Convergence for a Social Democracy (CPDS) won only one seat. The CPDS accused the government of harassing CPDS representatives and providing insufficient ballot papers.
Georgia: According to preliminary results of the May 21 elections for the 150-seat Parliament, President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement won 59 percent of the vote and 120 seats. The main opposition coalition, the United National Council led by Levan Gachechiladze, won 18 percent; the Christian Democrat Party led by Giorgi Targamadze won 9 percent; and the Labor Party won 7 percent. The OSCE said that although the elections were flawed, progress had been made since the presidential election in January. [End Page 176]
Iran: In parliamentary elections on March 14 and April 25 for the 290- seat Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Unified Principalists’ Front, a coalition of conservative groups including those loyal to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, won 117 seats, and the Broad Principalists’ Coalition, a rival conservative grouping opposed to the president, won 53 seats. The pro-liberalization Reformists, inspired by former president Mohammad Khatami, won 46 seats, though many Reformist candidates were barred from running. Unaffiliated candidates won 69 seats. Religious minorities won the remaining 5 seats.
Kuwait: In May 17 elections for the 50 elected seats in the National Assembly, Islamist candidates won 24 seats, while liberal candidates won 7. None of the 27 women who ran won seats.
Macedonia: In June 1 snap elections for the 120-seat Assembly, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization– Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRODPMNE), which ran as part of the “For a Better Macedonia” coalition, won 48 percent of the vote and 64 seats. The opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, which is led by former deputy prime minister Radmila Sekerinska and ran as part of the “A Sun for European Macedonia” coalition, won 23 percent and 28 seats. The ethnic-Albanian Democratic Union of Integration won 11 percent and 13 seats, and the Democratic Party of Albanians won 10 percent and 13 seats. One person was killed in election-related violence, while 22 polling stations were closed by officials due to reports of intimidation and fraud. 193 polling stations were scheduled to hold a revote on June 15.
Malaysia: In March 8 elections for the 222-seat House of Representatives, the National Front coalition, which includes Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s United Malays National Organization (UMNO), won 50 percent of the vote and 140 seats—79 of which are held by UNMO. The opposition People’s Justice Party, led by Anwar Ibrahim, won 19 percent and 31 seats. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party won 14 percent and 23 seats, and the Democratic Action Party won 14 percent and 28 seats. The latter three parties joined to form the opposition coalition People’s Alliance, which controls 82 seats.
Mongolia: Parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held on June 29; results will be reported in a future issue.
Montenegro: In the April 6 presidential election, the first since Montenegro split from Serbia in 2006, Filip Vujanović of the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro was reelected with 52 percent of the vote. Andrija Mandić of the Serbian People’s Party won 20 percent, and Nebojša Medojević of the Movement for Change won 17 percent. [End Page 177]
Nepal: In parliamentary elections on April 10 for the 575 elected seats in the 601-seat Constituent Assembly, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won 220 seats. The Nepali Congress won 110 seats. The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) won 103 seats, and the Madeshi People’s Rights Forum won 51 seats. The remaining 91 elected seats were divided among numerous other parties.
Paraguay: In the presidential election on April 20, the ruling Colorado Party lost the presidency for the first time in 61 years. Former Roman Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo of the Patriotic Alliance for Change (APC) coalition was elected with 41 percent of the vote. Colorado Party candidate Blanca Ovelar won 31 percent, and former army chief Lino Oviedo of the National Union of Ethical Citizens (UNACE) won 22 percent. In elections on the same day for the 45-seat Senate, the Colorado Party won 27.2 percent of the vote and 15 seats, and the Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA), which backed Lugo in the presidential race, won 27.1 percent and 14 seats. The UNACE won 18 percent and 9 seats, and the Beloved Homeland Party (PPQ) won 8 percent and 4 seats. In the 80-seat Chamber of Deputies, the Colorado Party won 30 seats, the PLRA won 29 seats, the UNACE won 15 seats, and the PPQ won 3 seats.
Serbia: In early elections for the 250-seat National Assembly on May 11, the Coalition for a European Serbia, led by President Boris Tadiæ of the Democratic Party, won 38 percent of the vote and 102 seats, and the Serbian Radical Party, under acting leader Tomislav Nikoliæ, won 29 percent and 78 seats. Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia won 12 percent and 30 seats, deceased ex-president Slobodan Miloševiæ’s Socialist Party of Serbia won 8 percent and 20 seats, the Liberal Democratic Party won 5 percent and 13 seats, and ethnicminority parties won 3 percent and 7 seats all told.
South Korea: In April 9 elections for the 299-seat National Assembly, President Lee Myung Bak’s Grand National Party won 37 percent of the vote and 153 seats, and the opposition United Democratic Party won 25 percent and 81 seats. The Liberty Forward Party, led by Lee Hoi Chang, won 7 percent and 18 seats; the Pro-Park Alliance won 13 percent and 14 seats; the Democratic Labor Party won 6 percent and 5 seats; and the Creative Korea Party, led by Moon Kook Hyun, won 4 percent and 3 seats. Independents won 8 percent and 25 seats.
Taiwan: In the presidential election on March 22, Ma Ying-jeou of the opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) won 58 percent of the vote, defeating Frank Hsieh of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Tonga: In April 24 elections for the 9 elected seats in the Legislative Assembly, independents won 59 percent of the vote and 4 seats, while [End Page 178] the Tonga Human Rights and Democracy Movement won 28 percent and 4 seats. The People’s Democratic Party won 9 percent and 1 seat.
Zimbabwe: Official results for the March 29 presidential election, which were not released for more than a month after Election Day, showed Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) winning 47.9 percent of the vote, thus forcing him into a runoff with President Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (Zanu–PF), who won 43.2 percent. Simba Makoni, Mugabe’s former finance minister who broke with the ruling ZANU-PF and ran as an independent, won 8.3 percent. The MDC claimed that Tsvangirai had actually won a majority, but he eventually agreed to participate in a runoff scheduled for June 27. Results will be reported in a future issue. In parliamentary elections on March 29 for the 210 seats in the House of Assembly, the MDC won 99 seats, while Zanu-PF won 97 seats. A smaller MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara, which backed Makoni in the presidential polls, won 10 seats, and an independent candidate won one seat. Three seats remained undeclared. The MDC said that more than 50 people were killed in postelection violence and that 25,000 have been displaced.
UPCOMING ELECTIONS (July 2008–June 2009)
Algeria: presidential, April 2009
Angola: parliamentary, 5 September 2008
Azerbaijan: presidential, 15 October 2008
Bangladesh: parliamentary, December 2008
Bulgaria: parliamentary, June 2009
Cambodia: parliamentary, 27 July 2008
Côte d’Ivoire: presidential/parliamentary, 30 November 2008
El Salvador: presidential/legislative, March 2009
Ghana: presidential/legislative, December 2008
Grenada: parliamentary, November 2008
Guinea: parliamentary, December 2008 (tentative) [End Page 179]
Guinea-Bissau: parliamentary, 16 November 2008
India: parliamentary, by May 2009
Indonesia: legislative, April 2009
Lithuania: parliamentary, 12 October 2008/presidential, June 2009
Macedonia: presidential, by April 2009
Malawi: presidential/legislative, May 2009
Maldives: presidential, October 2008
Mongolia: presidential, May 2009
Panama: presidential/legislative, 3 May 2009
Romania: parliamentary, 28 November 2008
Rwanda: parliamentary, September 2008
Slovakia: presidential, April 2009
Slovenia: parliamentary, 8 October 2008
South Africa: parliamentary, by April 2009
Swaziland: parliamentary, October 2008
Vanuatu: parliamentary, July 2008
Yemen: parliamentary, April 2009
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. 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. [End Page 180]