ELECTION RESULTS (April–June 2018)
Azerbaijan: In the April 11 snap presidential election, incumbent Ilham Aliyev of the New Azerbaijan Party won 86 percent of the vote, securing a fourth term in office. Independent candidate Zahid Oruj won 3.1 percent, and Sardar Mammadov of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party, 3 percent. The elections, originally scheduled for October 17, were the first held after a 2016 constitutional referendum that lengthened presidential terms from five to seven years. Observers with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) reported that the elections lacked “genuine competition” and took place in the context of a “legal framework that curtails fundamental rights and freedoms.”
Bhutan: Elections were held April 20 for 20 seats in Bhutan’s upper house, the National Council (5 additional seats are appointed by the king). National Council candidates are barred from political-party membership. Turnout was reported as 54.3 percent.
Colombia: In the May 27 presidential election, none of the candidates met the 50 percent threshold needed to secure a first-round victory, setting up a second-round vote scheduled for June 17. Iván Duque of former president Álvaro Uribe’s conservative Democratic Center party (CD) won 39.1 percent; former guerilla Gustavo Petro of the Humane Colombia movement won 25.1 percent; and Sergio Fajardo of the Colombia Coalition finished third with 23.7 percent. Results from the runoff will be reported in a future issue. Legislative elections were held March 11 for the bicameral Congress. In the 102-seat Senate, CD won 19 seats; Radical Change, 16; the Colombian Conservative Party (PC), 15; and the Colombian Liberal Party (PL), 14. Members of smaller parties split the remaining seats. In the 166-seat House of Representatives, PL won 35 seats; CD, 32; Radical Change, 30; and the Social Party [End Page 178] of National Unity, 25. Smaller parties split the remaining seats. The elections were the first held following the November 2016 peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Five seats in each house were reserved for members of the FARC’s successor party, the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force.
Hungary: In April 8 elections for the 199-seat National Assembly, the ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition of prime minister Viktor Orbán retained its two-thirds majority, winning 49.3 percent of the vote and 133 seats. The far-right Jobbik party won 19 percent and 26 seats; the Hungarian Socialist Party, 11.9 percent and 20 seats; the Democratic Coalition, 5.4 percent and 9 seats; and Politics Can Be Different, 7 percent and 8 seats. Two smaller parties and one independent candidate split the remaining three seats. OSCE observers expressed concern over the “xenophobic rhetoric, media bias and opaque campaign financing” that characterized the campaign.
Lebanon: Elections to the 128-seat Parliament, the first since 2009, were held May 6. The Amal-Hezbollah–led alliance of parties won 40 seats; the Free Patriotic Movement alliance, 29; the Future Movement alliance, 20; and the Lebanese Forces alliance, 15. Smaller parties split the remaining seats.
Malaysia: In May 9 elections for the 222-seat House of Representatives, the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition (led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad) won a stunning victory over the ruling National Front alliance (led by Prime Minister Najib Razak), securing 113 seats and 45.6 percent of the vote. The National Front won 79 seats and 34 percent, and the Gagasan Sejahtera coalition (led by Abdul Hadi Awang) won 18 seats and 17 percent. Mahathir, prime minister from 1981 to 2003, was sworn into office on May 10, ushering in the first transfer of power to an opposition party since independence in 1957.
Montenegro: In the April 15 presidential election, former president and prime minister Milo Djukanovi´c of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) won 53.9 percent of the vote, defeating independent candidate Mladen Bojanićc, who won 33.4 percent, and Draginja Vuksanovićc of the Social Democratic Party, who won 8.2 percent. Four other candidates won less than 3 percent each.
Paraguay: In the April 22 presidential election, Mario Abdo Benítez of incumbent Horacio Cartes’s Colorado Party (ANR) won 46.4 percent of the vote, defeating Efraín Alegre of the Ganar alliance, who won 42.7 percent. Cartes was constitutionally barred from running for a second term. Elections were held concurrently for Paraguay’s bicameral legislature. In the 45-seat Senate, the ANR won 29.6 percent and 17 seats; the Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA), 22.1 percent and 13 [End Page 179]seats; and the Guasú Front, 10.7 percent and 6 seats. Five smaller parties split the remaining seats. In the 80-seat Chamber of Deputies, the ANR won 24.9 percent and 42 seats and the PLRA, 10.9 percent and 30 seats. Four smaller parties split the remaining seats.
Slovenia: In June 3 snap elections for the 90-seat National Assembly, the conservative Slovenian Democratic Party led by former prime minister Janez Janša won 25 seats; the List of Marjan Šarec, 13 seats; the Social Democrats, 10 seats; and the ruling Modern Center Party, 10 seats. Five smaller parties each won fewer than 10 seats, and 2 reserved seats were filled via first-past-the-post elections by the Hungarian and Italian minorities. The elections were brought forward from June 10 following Prime Minister Miro Cerar’s resignation on March 14. Negotiations to form a governing coalition are ongoing.
Timor-Leste: In May 12 snap elections to the 65-seat National Parliament, the Alliance for Change and Progress led by Xanana Gusmão won 49.6 percent and 34 seats; the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) of incumbent president Francisco Guterres, 34.2 percent and 23 seats; the Democratic Party, 8 percent and 5 seats; and the Democratic Development Forum, 5.5 percent and 3 seats.
Turkey: Elections for the 600-seat Grand National Assembly were scheduled to be held June 24. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Venezuela: In the May 20 snap presidential election, incumbent Nicolás Maduro was reelected to a second six-year term, taking 68 percent of the vote. Henri Falcón of the Progressive Advance party won 21 percent, and Javier Bertucci, an independent, 10.8 percent. The National Election Board barred the principal opposition coalition (Democratic Unity Roundtable, or MUD) from fielding candidates. Turnout was 46 percent—the lowest reported turnout for a presidential election since the 1940s. Originally scheduled to be held December 2018, the election was brought forward to April 22 before being rescheduled once more for May 20. The EU, the United States, and the Organization of American States condemned the vote as inconsistent with the “minimum international standards for a credible process.”
UPCOMING ELECTIONS (July 2018–June 2019)
Afghanistan: legislative, 20 October 2018
Bangladesh: parliamentary, by January 2019
Bhutan: parliamentary (lower house), by December 2018 [End Page 180]
Bosnia-Herzegovina: presidential/legislative, 7 October 2018
Brazil: presidential/legislative, 7 October 2018
Cambodia: parliamentary, 29 July 2018
Cameroon: presidential, by October 2018
Democratic Republic of Congo: presidential/legislative, 23 December 2018
Estonia: parliamentary, 3 March 2019
Georgia: presidential, by October 2018
Guinea: parliamentary, by January 2019
Guinea-Bissau: parliamentary, 18 November 2018
Latvia: parliamentary, 7 October 2018
Madagascar: presidential/legislative, 24 November 2018
Maldives: presidential, 23 September 2018
Mali: presidential, 29 July 2018
Mauritania: legislative, by November 2018
Mexico: presidential/legislative, 1 July 2018
Moldova: parliamentary, by November 2018
Pakistan: parliamentary, 25 July 2018
Rwanda: parliamentary, 2 September 2018
Senegal: presidential, by February 2019
South Sudan: presidential/legislative, 9 July 2018
Togo: parliamentary, by July 2018
Zimbabwe: presidential/legislative, 30 July 2018
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 181]
Copyright © 2018 National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press