Election Watch

Issue Date January 2011
Volume 22
Issue 1
Page Numbers 174-179
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ELECTION RESULTS (September–December 2010)

Afghanistan: Elections for the 249-seat House of the People were held on September 18. Because most of the parliamentarians are independents, it is difficult to give a breakdown of the votes. Several thousand fraud allegations were filed, leading to 21 cases of winners being disqualified and 20 percent of the ballots being voided.

Azerbaijan: In November 7 elections for the 125-seat National Assembly, President Ilham Aliyev’s New Azerbaijan Party won 46 percent of the vote and 74 seats. Independent candidates who are aligned with the ruling party won 38 seats. Ten small opposition parties won the remaining 13 seats. Of these, the Civic Solidarity Party won 1.6 percent and 3 seats and the Motherland Party won 1.4 percent and 2 seats. The opposition bloc Musavat, led by Isa Gambar, did not win any seats. The OSCE election observation mission noted “serious problems” during the voting and said that the vote count was “bad” or “very bad” at nearly a third of the polling stations visited.

Bahrain: In October 23 and 30 parliamentary elections for the 40-seat Council of Representatives, the Islamic National Accord Society, known as al-Wifaq, a Shia Islamist party, won 18 seats; al-Asala, a Sunni salafist party, won 3 seats; the National Islamic Society, known as al-Menbar, another Sunni party, won 2 seats; and independent candidates (all of whom are Sunni) won 17 seats. Four opposition groups, including the Haq movement, boycotted the election. In the period leading up to the voting, the detention and trial of 23 Shia activists for allegedly forming a “terror network” created an atmosphere of unease around the elections.

Belarus: Presidential elections were scheduled for December 19; results will be reported in a future issue. [End Page 174]

Bosnia and Herzegovina: In the October 3 presidential election, Željko Komšić of the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SDP BiH) was reelected with 61 percent of the vote as the Croat member of the tripartite presidency, beating Borjana Krišto of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH), who won 20 percent. Nebojša Radmanović of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) was reelected with 49 percent of the vote as the Serb member of the presidency, beating Mladen Ivanić of the Coalition Together for Srpska, who won 47 percent. Bakir Izetbegović of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) was elected with 35 percent as the Bosniak member of the presidency, beating incumbent Haris Silajdžić of the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina, who won 25 percent, and Fahrudin Radonèić of the Union for a Better Future of BiH (SBB BiH), who won 30 percent. In concurrent elections for the 42-seat House of Representatives (where representatives from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are allocated 28 seats, while the representatives from the Republika Srpska have 14 seats) the SDP BiH and the SNSD won 8 seats each. The SDA won 7 seats, the Serbian Democratic Party and the SBB BiH won 4 seats each, the HDZ BiH won 3 seats, and six other parties each won 2 seats or fewer.

Brazil: In the October 31 presidential runoff, Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party (PT) won with 56 percent of the vote against José Serra of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). In the first round on October 3, Rousseff won 47 percent, Serra won 33 percent, and Marina Silva of the Green Party (PV) won 19 percent. Rousseff had served as chief of staff for outgoing president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. In October 3 elections for the 513-seat Chamber of Deputies, the PT’s alliance won 311 seats, the PSDB’s alliance won 136 seats, the Progressive Party won 41 seats, the PV won 15 seats, the Socialism and Freedom Party won 3 seats, and four other parties considered to be friendly to Lula each won 3 seats or fewer.

Burkina Faso: In the November 21 presidential election, incumbent Blaise Compaoré of the Congress for Democracy and Progress party, who has ruled since 1987, was reelected with 80 percent of the vote. Hama Arba Diallo, a former foreign minister, won 8 percent, and opposition leader Bénéwendé Stanislas Sankara of the Union for Rebirth/Sankarist Movement won 6 percent.

Burma: On November 7, the country’s first legislative elections in twenty years, Burmese voted for 330 seats in the House of Representatives. (The remaining 25 percent of the seats are controlled by military.) The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party won 80 percent of the elected seats. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy boycotted the election, and no international observers were admitted.

Côte d’Ivoire: According to provisional results announced by the Independent [End Page 175] Electoral Commission (CEI), former prime minister Alassane Ouattara of the Rally of Republicans party won the November 28 presidential runoff against incumbent Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivorian Popular Front with 54 percent of the vote. The UN Office in Côte d’Ivoire validated the CEI’s results. The Constitutional Council, however, declared that Gbagbo was the winner with 51 percent, and riots broke out in the city of Abidjan. International organizations, including the European Union, ECOWAS, and the African Union, recognized the CEI’s results. At the time of this writing, the situation remained very tense as both sides swore in their candidates and formed governments, making compromise more difficult. In the first round of the presidential election on October 31, Gbagbo won 38 percent of the vote; Ouattara won 32 percent; and former president Henri Konan Bédié of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire–African Democratic Rally won 25 percent.

Egypt: Parliamentary elections were held on November 28 for the 444 directly elected seats in the People’s Assembly. According to preliminary results, President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party will dominate the parliament. The government refused to allow international election observers into the country and arrested increasing numbers of opposition members in the weeks leading up to the elections. The Democratic Front (Gabha) and Ghad (Ayman Nour–front) parties both boycotted the elections, and turnout was very low—between 10 and 25 percent. The Muslim Brotherhood (whose candidates must run as nominal independents because it is banned as a party) won no seats in the first round and decided to boycott the second round on December 5. The liberal Wafd party, which won 2 seats in the first round, also boycotted the second round.

Guinea: In the November 7 presidential runoff, Alpha Condé of the major opposition party Rally of the Guinean People won with 52.5 percent of the vote against Cellou Dalein Diallo of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea. Diallo had served in former president Lansana Conté’s government, but later opposed it. Diallo complained of widespread irregularities, and his supporters protested in the capital city Conakry following the election. After the certification of the results, however, Diallo conceded defeat and appealed for calm from his supporters.

Haiti: Presidential and parliamentary elections were held on November 28. According to preliminary results announced on December 7, former first lady Mirlande Manigat finished first with 31 percent of the vote. Finishing second, and thus qualifying for the runoff scheduled for January 16, was ruling-party candidate Jude Célestin, who won 22 percent, narrowly besting Michel Martelly, who won 21 percent (about 6,800 votes short of Célestin). The validity of these results was widely questioned, and protests erupted. Further information will be reported in a future issue. [End Page 176]

Jordan: In November 9 elections to the 120-seat House of Representatives, 78 new members of parliament were elected. The opposition Islamic Action Front boycotted the vote, claiming that new electoral laws (introduced earlier this year while parliament was dissolved) did not go far enough in making representation fairer. This was the first election for which international election observers were accredited by the government. The National Democratic Institute reported that “the conduct of the voting on election day compared favorably to accepted international practices,” but noted “structural shortcomings—widely unequal districts, lack of an independent election body, and limited press freedom.”

Kyrgyzstan: Many parties competed in the October 10 elections for the 120-seat Supreme Council, and the vote was widely dispersed. Because the threshold of 5 percent to earn any seats was applied not to the number of actual votes cast, but to the number of eligible voters, only 5 parties received seats. Ata-Jurt, a party that supports ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev and is led by Kamchybek Tashiev, won 16 percent of the vote and 28 seats. The Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), led by Almazbek Atambayev, won 14.6 percent and 26 seats. Ar-Namys (Dignity party), led by Feliks Kulov, won 14 percent and 25 seats. The Respublika party, led by Omurbek Babanov, won 13 percent and 23 seats. The Socialist Party “Fatherland” (Ata-Meken), led by Omurbek Tekebayev, won 10 percent (5.6 percent of eligible voters) and 18 seats. The SDPK, Respublika, and Ata-Meken formed a governing coalition.

Latvia: In October 2 elections for the 100-seat Parliament, the Unity alliance (which includes Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis’s New Era Party, as well as the Civic Union party and the Society for Other Politics party) won 31 percent of the vote and 33 seats. The Harmony Center alliance—which includes the Social Democratic Party “Harmony,” the Latvian Socialist Party, and the Daugavpils City Party—won 26 percent and 29 seats. The Greens’ and Farmers’ Union (ZZS) won 20 percent and 22 seats. The National Alliance, which includes the For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK and All for Latvia parties, won 8 percent and 8 seats. The For a Good Latvia alliance, which includes the People’s Party and Latvia’s First Party–Latvian Way, also won 8 percent and 8 seats. Unity formed a coalition government with the ZZS.

Kosovo: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for December 12; results will be reported in a future issue.

Moldova: According to preliminary results of the November 28 elections for the 101-seat Parliament, the Communists, led by former president Vladimir Voronin, won 39 percent of the vote and 42 seats; the Liberal Democratic Party (PLDM), led by Prime Minister Vladimir Filat, won 29 percent and 32 seats; the Democratic Party (PDM) won 13 percent [End Page 177] and 15 seats; and the Liberal Party (PL), led by Speaker of Parliament Mihai Ghimpu, won 10 percent and 12 seats. No other party passed the 4 percent threshold to gain a seat in parliament. The PLDM, PDM, and PL are part of the Alliance for European Integration, which hopes to form the new government, but they are short of the 61 votes necessary to elect a new president.

Tanzania: In the October 31 presidential election, incumbent Jakaya Kikwete of the Revolutionary Party of Tanzania (CCM) won 61 percent of the vote. Wilbrod Slaa of the opposition Party for Democracy and Progress (Chadema) won 26 percent, and Ibrahim Lipumba of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) won 8 percent. In concurrent legislative elections for the 239 elected seats in the National Assembly, the CCM won 188 seats, Chadema won 24 seats, and the CUF won 21 seats.

Tonga: In November 25 elections for the 17 popularly elected seats in the Legislative Assembly, the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands, led by Akilisi Pohiva, won 28 percent of the vote and 12 seats, while independent candidates won the remaining 5 seats. The number of representatives elected by universal suffrage increased from 9 to 17 in this election. The nobility elects 9 more representatives. King George Tupou V, who supported electoral reform, remains the head of state but with greatly limited executive powers.

Venezuela: In September 26 elections for the 165-seat National Assembly, President Hugo Chávez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) won 48 percent of the vote and 96 seats. The opposition Mesa de la Unidad Democrática coalition (Mesa) won 47 percent and 64 seats, and independents connected to Mesa won 1 percent and 3 seats. Fatherland for All, which used to be allied with the PSUV, won 3 percent and 2 seats. (See the article by Javier Corrales on pp. 122–36 of this issue.)

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (January–December 2011)

Argentina: presidential/legislative, 23 October 2011

Benin: presidential/legislative, March 2011

Bulgaria: presidential, October 2011

Cameroon: presidential, October 2011

Cape Verde: parliamentary, January 2011; presidential, February 2011

Central African Republic: presidential/legislative, 23 January 2011

Chad: parliamentary, 20 February 2011; presidential, 8 May 2011

Croatia: parliamentary, November 2011 [End Page 178]

Democratic Republic of Congo: presidential/legislative, 27 November 2011

Djibouti: presidential, April 2011

Egypt: presidential, September 2011

Estonia: parliamentary, March 2011

Fiji: parliamentary, May 2011

Gabon: parliamentary, December 2011

The Gambia: presidential, September 2011

Guatemala: presidential/legislative, September 2011

Guyana: presidential/parliamentary, August 2011

Kyrgyzstan: presidential, October 2011

Liberia: presidential/legislative, October 2011

Madagascar: parliamentary, April 2011; presidential, 4 May 2011

Mauritania: parliamentary, November 2011

Micronesia: legislative, March 2011

Nicaragua: presidential/legislative, November 2011

Niger: presidential/parliamentary, January 2011

Nigeria: legislative, 2 April 2011; presidential, 9 April 2011

Oman: parliamentary, October 2011

Peru: presidential/legislative, 10 April 2011

Poland: parliamentary, October 2011

Russia: parliamentary, December 2011

Samoa: parliamentary, by March 2011

São Tomé and Príncipe: presidential, July 2011

Singapore: parliamentary, May 2011; presidential, by August 2011

Turkey: parliamentary, July 2011

Uganda: presidential/legislative, 18 February 2011

Yemen: parliamentary, 27 April 2011

Zambia: presidential/legislative, October 2011

Zimbabwe: parliamentary, June 2011

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[End Page 179]