Election Watch

Issue Date July 2014
Volume 25
Issue 3
Page Numbers 178-183
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ELECTION RESULTS (March–June 2014)

Afghanistan: In the April 5 presidential election, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah of the National Coalition of Afghanistan won 45 percent of the vote. Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, running as an independent, won 32 percent, setting up a runoff scheduled for June 14. Independent candidate Zalmai Rassoul, a former foreign minister, won 11 percent of the vote, and Abdul Rasul Sayyaf of the Islamic Dawah Organization of Afghanistan won 7 percent. Four other candidates split the remaining votes. Following his defeat, Rassoul endorsed Abdullah for the runoff. Results from the runoff will be reported in a future issue.

Algeria: In the April 17 presidential election, incumbent Abdelaziz Bouteflika of the National Liberation Front won 82 percent of the vote, defeating former prime minister Ali Benflis, who won 12 percent. Warning of electoral fraud, most of Algeria’s opposition parties boycotted the election. Turnout was officially reported to be 52 percent—down from the officially reported 74 percent of registered voters who participated in the last presidential election.

Colombia: In the May 25 presidential election, Óscar Iván Zuluaga of the recently formed Democratic Center (CD) received 29 percent of the vote, and President Juan Manuel Santos of the Social Party of National Unity (PSUN) won 26 percent. Marta Lucía Ramírez of the Colombian Conservative Party (PC) got 16 percent, and Clara López Obregón of the Alternative Democratic Pole got 15 percent. A runoff election was scheduled for June 15. Elections were held March 9 for the bicameral Congress. In the 102-member Senate, the PSUN won 21 seats, the CD won 19 seats, the PC won 19 seats, and the Colombian Liberal Party (PL) won 17. Members of smaller parties won the remaining 26 seats. In [End Page 178] the 166-member Chamber of Representatives, the PSUN won 39 seats, the PL won 37, the PC won 27, Radical Change won 16, and the CD won 12. Smaller parties won the remaining seats. Results from the presidential runoff will be reported in a future issue.

Egypt: According to official results of the presidential election held May 26–28, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, former head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, won 97 percent of the vote, defeating Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi. Opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the April 6th Youth Movement, boycotted the election. Despite efforts to increase turnout—a national holiday was declared and polling was extended to a third day—turnout was officially reported to be 47 percent. The chief of the EU observer mission stated, “The presidential election was administered in line with the law, in an environment falling short of constitutional principles.”

El Salvador: In the March 9 presidential runoff, Salvador Sánchez Cerén of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front of outgoing president Mauricio Funes won 50.1 percent of the vote, defeating Norman Quijano of the Nationalist Republican Alliance. Alleging fraud, Arena filed a petition to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal demanding the annulment of the results, but the petition was dismissed. Observers from the Organization of American States praised the “order and civic spirit demonstrated during the elections.” For more on El Salvador’s election, see the article by Forrest D. Colburn and Arturo Cruz S. on pp. 149–58 above.

Guinea-Bissau: In the May 18 presidential runoff, former finance minister José Mário Vaz of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) won 62 percent of the vote, defeating independent Nuno Gomes Nabiam. Nabiam alleged fraud and pledged to challenge the election result in court. In the first round on April 13, Vaz received 41 percent of the vote, Nabiam 25 percent, independent Paulo Gomes 10 percent, Abel Incada of the Social Renewal Party (PRS) 7 percent, and Mamadu Iaia Djaló of the New Democracy Party 5 percent. Eight other candidates split the remaining votes. In elections held simultaneously for the 102-seat National People’s Assembly, PAIGC received 57 seats and the PRS received 41.

Hungary: In April 6 elections for the 199-seat Hungarian National Assembly, the Fidesz-KDNP of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán won 44 percent of the votes and 133 seats, including 96 of the 106 seats contested in single-member districts. The Unity coalition, an alliance of left-leaning parties led by the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), won 38 seats; the far-right Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik) won 23 seats; and the liberal ecological party Politics Can Be Different (LMP) won 5 seats. [End Page 179]

India: In elections that began on April 7 and ended May 12 for the 543-seat Lok Sabha, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, won 31 percent of the votes and an outright majority of 282 seats. The ruling Indian National Congress (INC) of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh won 19 percent and 44 seats. The new Aam Aadmi Party, which had surprised observers by winning control of the city-state of Delhi in 2013 on an anticorruption platform, won only 4 seats. Most of the remaining seats were won by regional parties.

Indonesia: In April 9 elections for the 560-seat People’s Representation Council, former president Megawati Sukarnoputri’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) won 19 percent of the vote and 109 seats. The Functional Group Party (Golkar) won 16 percent and 91 seats, and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) won 13 percent and 73 seats. The Democrat Party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won 11 percent and 61 seats. Eight other parties split the remaining votes.

Iraq: According to preliminary results of the April 30 elections for the 328-seat Council of Representatives, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition won 95 seats; the Ahrar Coalition, led by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, received 34 seats; and the Civic Coalition, a predominantly Shia formation led by Ammar al-Hakim, won 31 seats. Among predominantly Sunni groups, the Muttahidoon Coalition, led by Speaker of the Council Osama al-Nujaifi, won 28 seats, and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq’s Arabiya Alliance won 10 seats. The Iraqi National Movement of Ayad Allawi, who in 2009 led a broader coalition that gained a plurality in the Council, won only 21 seats. The Democratic Party of Kurdistan (DPK) of Massud Barzani, president of the Kurdish region, won 25 seats, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of Iraqi president Jalal Talabani won 21 seats. Change (or Gorran), a Kurdish party formed in 2009 to oppose the DPK and PUK, won 9 seats. The remaining seats went to members of smaller parties.

Kosovo: According to preliminary results of the June 8 elections for the 100 directly elected seats of the Assembly of Kosovo, Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) won 31 percent of the vote, the Democratic League of Kosovo won 26 percent, the Movement for Self-Determination won 14 percent, and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo won 10 percent. Smaller parties won the remaining votes. Opposition parties announced a plan to form a government without the PDK. EU observers praised the conduct of the snap elections, but noted that the brief official campaign period posed challenges.

Libya: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for June 25; results will be reported in a future issue. [End Page 180]

Lithuania: In the May 25 presidential runoff, President Dalia Grybauskaitė, running as an independent, won 58 percent of the vote, defeating Social Democrat Zigmantas Balčytis. In the first round on May 11, Grybauskaitė won 47 percent of the vote, while Balčytis won 14 percent, Artūras Paulauskas of the Labor Party won 12 percent, independent Naglis Puteikis won 9 percent, and Waldemar Tomaševski of the Lithuanian Poles’ Electoral Action won 8 percent.

Macedonia: In the presidential runoff held April 27, incumbent Gjorge Ivanov of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization–Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE) defeated Stevo Pendarovski of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) with 55 percent of the vote. In the first round, held on April 13, Ivanov won 52 percent of the vote, but failed to earn the 50 percent of registered voters required to avoid a runoff. Pendarovski won 38 percent of the vote. In concurrent elections for the 123-seat Macedonian Assembly, the VMRO-DPMNE won 61 seats, the SDSM won 34 seats, and the Democratic Union for Integration won 19. OSCE observers concluded that “the governing party did not adequately separate its party and state activities.” Alleging fraud and abuse of state resources, members of the SDSM boycotted when the Assembly was seated in May.

Malawi: In the May 20 presidential election, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Peter Mutharika—brother of recently deceased former president Bingu wa Mutharika—won with 36 percent of the vote. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) won 28 percent, incumbent president Joyce Banda of the People’s Party (PP) won 20 percent, and Atupele Muluzi of the United Democratic Front (UDF) won 14 percent. In elections held concurrently for the 193-seat National Assembly, the DPP won 50 seats, the MCP won 48, the PP won 26, and UDF won 14. Independents and members of smaller parties won 54 seats. One seat remained unfilled. Alleging “serious irregularities,” Banda initially declared the election “null and void” but later conceeded defeat. EU observers praised the peaceful conduct of the elections.

Maldives: In March 22 elections for the 85-seat People’s Majlis, President Abdulla Yameen’s Progressive Party of the Maldives won 33 seats. Its coalition partners, the Republican Party and the recently formed Maldives Development Alliance, won 15 and 5 seats, respectively. The Maldivian Democratic Party of former president Mohamed Nasheed won 26 seats. Commonwealth observers praised the conduct of voting and vote counting but criticized the lack of campaign-finance legislation, as well as the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the head of the election commission and his deputy two weeks prior to the election for “disobeying orders.” [End Page 181]

Mauritania: The presidential election was scheduled to be held on June 21; results will be reported in a future issue.

Panama: In the May 4 presidential election, Vice-President Juan Carlos Varela of the Pro-Panamanian Party (PP) won with 39 percent of the vote. José Domingo Arias of outgoing president Ricardo Martinelli’s Democratic Change (CD) received 31 percent, and Juan Carlos Navarro of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) received 28 percent. In elections held concurrently for the 71-seat National Assembly, CD and its allies won 30 seats, the PRD won 21, and the PP 12.

Serbia: In March 16 elections for the 250-seat Serbian National Assembly, the Future We Believe In coalition, led by First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić’s Serbian Progressive Party, won 48 percent of the vote and 158 seats. The coalition led by Prime Minister Ivica Dačić of the Serbian Socialist Party won 13 percent and 44 seats. The Democratic Party and a coalition led by the New Democratic Party each won 6 percent of the vote and 19 and 18 seats, respectively. The remaining seats went to members of smaller parties. Following the elections, Vučić became prime minister.

Slovakia: In the presidential runoff on March 29, independent Andrej Kiska defeated Prime Minister Robert Fico of the Direction–Social Democracy (SMER) party with 59 percent of the vote. In the first round on March 15, Fico won 28 percent of the vote and Kiska won 24 percent. Independent Radoslav Procházka won 21 percent, and independent Milan Kňažko won 13 percent.

South Africa: In elections held May 7 for the 400-seat National Assembly, President Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress received 249 seats. The Democratic Alliance received 89 seats, the newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters received 25, the Inkatha Freedom Party received 10, and the recently formed National Freedom Party received 6.

Ukraine: In the May 25 presidential election, former economic development and trade minister Petro Poroshenko, an independent backed by Vitaly Klitschko of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR), won with 55 percent of the vote. Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko of the Fatherland party won 13 percent and Oleh Lyashko of the Radical Party won 8 percent. While noting the difficult security environment, OSCE observers praised “the clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms in the vast majority of the country.” [End Page 182]

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (July 2014–June 2015)

Benin: legislative, by May 2015

Bolivia: presidential/legislative, 12 October 2014

Bosnia-Herzegovina: presidential/legislative, 12 October 2014

Botswana: parliamentary, October 2014

Brazil: presidential/legislative, 5 October 2014

Chad: legislative, February 2015

Croatia: presidential, by December 2014

El Salvador: legislative, March 2015

Estonia: parliamentary, 1 March 2015

Fiji: parliamentary, by September 2014

Indonesia: presidential, 9 July 2014

Latvia: parliamentary, 4 October 2014

Liberia: legislative, 14 October 2014

Mauritius: parliamentary, by May 2015

Moldova: parliamentary, 30 November 2014

Mozambique: presidential/legislative, 15 October 2014

Namibia: presidential/parliamentary, November 2014

Nigeria: presidential/legislative, 14 February 2015

Romania: presidential, 2 November 2014

Solomon Islands: parliamentary, August 2014

Suriname: parliamentary, May 2015

Tajikistan: parliamentary, February 2015

Trinidad and Tobago: parliamentary, by May 2015

Turkey: presidential, 10 August 2014

Uruguay: presidential/legislative, 26 October 2014

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 183]