ELECTION RESULTS (March–June 2016)
Benin: In the March 20 presidential runoff, independent candidate Patrice Talon won 65 percent, defeating incumbent prime minister Lionel Zinsou of the ruling Cauri Forces for an Emerging Benin. In the first round on March 6, Zinsou led with 28 percent while Talon came in second with 25 percent.
Cape Verde: In March 20 elections for the 72-seat National Assembly, the liberal opposition Movement for Democracy party won an absolute majority with 54 percent and 40 seats, ousting the incumbent African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde, which received 38 percent and 29 seats. The Cape Verdean Independent and Democratic Union won 7 percent and 3 seats.
Central African Republic: Following a series of delays, elections for the 131-seat National Assembly were held on February 14, with a runoff vote on March 31. The National Union for Democracy and Progress and former prime minister Anicet-Georges Dologuélé’s Union for Central African Renewal each won 13 seats. The Central African Democratic Rally won 10 seats, the Central African People’s Liberation Movement, 9 seats; the National Convergence “Kwa Na Kwa” party of former president François Bozizé, 7 seats; independent candidates, 56 seats; and smaller parties, the remaining 23 seats.
Chad: In the April 10 presidential election, incumbent Idriss Déby of the Patriotic Salvation Movement, who has been in power for 26 years, was reelected with 62 percent of the vote. Déby’s closest competitor, opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo of the National Union for Democracy and Renewal, received 13 percent, and Moundou city mayor Laoukein Kourayo Médard, [End Page 181] running as an independent, won 11 percent. Seven other candidates won less than 6 percent each. The run-up to the vote was marred by a clampdown on demonstrations by human-rights groups, and four opposition candidates were barred from running. On election day, the government imposed an Internet and social-media blackout. Despite an appeal from opposition candidates alleging ballot irregularities, the Constitutional Council validated the results.
Comoros: In the three-way presidential runoff held on April 10, former president Azali Assoumani of the Convention for the Renewal of the Comoros won 41 percent, narrowly defeating Vice-President Mohamed Ali Soilihi of the Union for the Development of the Comoros, who received 40 percent. Mouigni Baraka of the Democratic Rally of the Comoros came in third with 19 percent. In the February 21 first-round vote, Soilihi led with 18 percent, while Baraka and Assoumani each received 15 percent.
Congo (Brazzaville): In the March 20 presidential election, incumbent Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the ruling Congolese Labor Party (PCT), who has been in power for most of the last 30 years, won 60 percent. Guy Brice Parfait Kolélas of the Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development received 15 percent, and former army chief Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, running as an independent, received 14 percent. Six other candidates received less than 5 percent each. International observers cited serious irregularities, including a government-led communications blackout during the vote, as well as intimidation and arrests of opposition supporters. Opposition candidates conceded defeat in an attempt to minimize mounting postelection violence.
Djibouti: In the April 8 presidential election, incumbent Ismail Omar Guelleh—who has served as president since 1999 and leads the Union for the Presidential Majority coalition—was reelected with 87 percent of the vote. His nearest rival, Omar Elmi Khaireh of the opposition Union for National Salvation (USN) coalition, received only 7 percent, while four other candidates received less than 2 percent each. The election was boycotted by four of the seven opposition parties in the USN coalition after Guelleh reversed his earlier decision not to run. African Union election observers concluded the vote was “free,” yet marred by breaches of the country’s electoral law. Opposition leaders rejected the results, alleging that only around a quarter of the population was eligible to vote, and demanded the establishment of an independent commission to investigate the electoral outcome.
Dominican Republic: In the May 15 presidential election, incumbent Danilo Medina of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) won 62 percent, defeating his closest rival, Luis Abinader of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), who received 35 percent. Six other candidates won less than 2 percent [End Page 182] each. Elections for the bicameral legislature were held concurrently. In elections for the 32-seat Senate, the PLD won 28 seats; the PRM won 2 seats; and the Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC) and the Institutional Social Democratic Bloc each won a single seat. In elections for the 185-seat Chamber of Deputies, the PLD won 125 seats; the PRM, 46; and the PRSC and its allies, 14.
Equatorial Guinea: In the April 24 presidential election, Africa’s longest serving president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea coalition, claimed 94 percent. Obiang’s main rival, Gabriel Nse Obiang Obono of Citizens for the Innovation of Equatorial Guinea (CI), was prevented from running following a crackdown on opposition leaders, media, and civil society organizations in the run-up to the elections. Several opposition groups, including CI and the Democratic Opposition Front coalition, boycotted the vote. Although a constitutional referendum limiting presidents to two seven-year terms was passed in 2011, the rule does not apply retroactively to Obiang.
Iran: In the April 29 second-round elections for the 290-seat Islamic Consultative Assembly, reformist, moderate, and conservative politicians made similar gains, receiving nearly the same number of seats. As of this writing in June 2016, it remains unclear how many seats independent candidates won.
Kazakhstan: In early elections on March 20 for the 98 elected seats in the 107-seat Majilis, President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s ruling People’s Democratic Party “Nur Otan” won 84 seats. The Democratic Party of Kazakhstan “Ak Zhol” and the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan each won 7 seats. Nazarbayev has been in power since 1991.
Mongolia: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for June 29; results will be reported in a future issue.
Niger: In the March 20 presidential runoff, boycotted by much of the opposition, incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism won 92 percent of the vote, defeating Hama Amadou of the Nigerien Democratic Movement for an African Federation. In the first round on February 1, Issoufou won 49 percent and Amadou won 18 percent.
Peru: According to preliminary results of the June 5 presidential runoff, former minister and World Bank economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of the center-right Peruvians for Change (PPK) won 50.1 percent, narrowly defeating Keiko Fujimori of the Popular Force (FP). Fujimori is the daughter of jailed former president Alberto Fujimori. In the first round of voting held on April 10, Fujimori led with 40 percent, Kuczynski received 21 percent, and Verónika Mendoza of the leftist Broad Front coalition received 19 percent. [End Page 183] In concurrent elections for the 130-seat Congress, FP won 71 seats; PPK, 20 seats; Broad Front, 20 seats; Alliance for the Progress of Peru, 9 seats; and the Popular Alliance and Popular Action, 5 seats each.
Philippines: In the May 9 presidential election, Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippine Democratic Party–People’s Power (PDP-Laban) won 39 percent. Manuel Roxas of outgoing president Benigno Aquino’s Liberal Party (LP) received 23 percent; Senator Grace Poe, who ran as an independent, 22 percent; Vice-President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), 13 percent; and Miriam Defensor-Santiago of the People’s Reform Party (PRP), 3 percent. In concurrent elections for the bicameral legislature, the LP won 5 of the 12 seats up for election in the 24-seat Senate; independent candidates won 3 seats; the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), 2 seats; and UNA and Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party, one seat each. In elections for the 238-seats of the House of Representatives allotted to single-member districts, the LP won 115 seats; the NPC, 42 seats; the Nationalista Party, 24 seats; the National Unity Party, 23 seats; the UNA, 11 seats; and the PDP-Laban, 3 seats. Smaller parties and independent candidates claimed the remaining 20 district seats.
Serbia: Following Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić’s decision to dissolve the country’s 250-seat National Assembly, snap elections were held April 24, two years ahead of schedule. Vučić’s center-right Serbian Progressive Party led with 48 percent and 131 seats; the Socialist Party of Serbia won 11 percent and 29 seats; and the pro-Russian Serbian Radical Party won 8 percent and 22 seats. The progressive “Enough is Enough” movement and the pro-Western Democratic Party each received 6 percent and 16 seats, and the far-right Dveri movement and the Coalition for a Better Serbia each won 5 percent and 13 seats. The remaining 10 seats went to members of smaller parties.
South Korea: April 13 elections for the 300-seat National Assembly resulted in a surprise victory for the liberal opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, which received 123 seats, narrowly defeating the Saenuri Party of President Park Geun-hye, which received 122 seats. The People’s Party received 38 seats; the Justice Party, 6 seats; and independent candidates, the remaining 11 seats.
UPCOMING ELECTIONS (July 2016–June 2017)
Afghanistan: legislative, 15 October 2016
Armenia: parliamentary, by May 2017
Bahamas: parliamentary, by May 2017 [End Page 184]
Belarus: parliamentary, by September 2016
Bulgaria: presidential, by December 2016
Cape Verde: presidential, by August 2016
Côte d’Ivoire: parliamentary, by December 2016
Democratic Republic of Congo: presidential/legislative, 27 November 2016
Gabon: presidential/parliamentary, by December 2016
The Gambia: presidential, by December 2016
Georgia: parliamentary, 8 October 2016
Ghana: presidential/parliamentary, by November 2016
Guyana: presidential, by December 2016; parliamentary, by November 2016
Lithuania: parliamentary, 9 October 2016
Mongolia: parliamentary, 29 June 2016
Montenegro: parliamentary, by October 2016
Morocco: parliamentary, 7 October 2016
Nicaragua: presidential/legislative, 6 November 2016
Palau: presidential/legislative, by November 2016
Romania: parliamentary, by December 2016
Russia: parliamentary, 18 September 2016
Saint Lucia: parliamentary, by December 2016
São Tomé and Príncipe: presidential, by July 2016
Seychelles: presidential/legislative, by October 2016
Sudan: legislative, by December 2016
Turkmenistan: presidential, by February 2017
Zambia: presidential/legislative, 11 August 2016
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 185]