Election Watch

Issue Date January 2002
Volume 13
Issue 1
Page Numbers 180-83
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(September-December 2001)

Argentina: In October 14 elections for 130 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, the Justicialist Party (PJ) won 37 percent of the vote and 66 seats. The Alliance (ATJE), formed by the Radical Civic Union and the Front for a Country in Solidarity (Frepaso), won 23 percent and 35 seats. The Argentina for a Republic of Equals (ARI) secured 7 percent and 8 seats. Eleven other minor parties took the remaining seats. In the 72-seat Senate, the PJ won 40 seats; the ATJE, 25; and the ARI, 1. Nearly 25 percent of the electorate cast blank or spoiled ballots, underscoring widespread disillusion with elected leaders.

Bangladesh: In parliamentary elections held on October 1, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) won 191 of the 300 directly elected seats in the 330-member National Parliament, thereby returning former prime minister Khaleda Zia to power. The BNP-allied Bangladesh Islamic Assembly (Jama’at-i-Islami) secured 17 seats. The Awami League (AL) of outgoing prime minister Sheikh Hasina (the first Bangladeshi prime minister to complete a five-year term) won 62 seats. The National Party (Jatiya Dal) secured 8 percent and 14 seats. Turnout is estimated to have been 75 percent. Although AL leaders, including Hasina, claimed that the election was rigged, both UN and EU election-observer missions declared the elections to be fair.

Bulgaria: In first-round presidential balloting held on November 11, Georgi Parvanov of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (the successor to the Bulgarian Communist Party) won 36.4 percent, narrowly surpassing incumbent Petar Stoyanov, running as an independent with the backing of the center-right Union of Democratic Forces, who received 34.9 percent. Voter turnout was 41.5 percent. In the November 18 runoff, Parvanov defeated Stoyanov, 53 to 47 percent, to become Bulgaria’s next president. [End Page 180]

Chile: Legislative elections were scheduled for December 16. Results will be reported in a future issue.

The Gambia: In a presidential election held on October 18, Yahya A.J. Jammeh of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction was reelected with 53 percent of the vote, besting opposition candidate Ousainou Darbou of the United Democratic Party, who received 32.7 percent. Jammeh came to power through a military coup in 1994 and was subsequently elected to the presidency in 1996. Turnout was reported as 80 percent. The Commonwealth Observer Group declared the elections free and fair.

Honduras: In presidential balloting held on November 25, Ricardo Maduro of the National Party won with 52 percent of the vote, defeating Rafael Pineda of the ruling Liberal Party of Honduras, who received 44 percent. Results from legislative elections held on the same day will be reported in a future issue.

Madagascar: Presidential elections were scheduled for December 16. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Mauritania: In parliamentary elections held on October 19 and 26, the ruling party of President Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya, the Democratic and Social Republican Party, won 51 percent of the vote and 64 seats in the 81-member National Assembly. The pro-government Rally for Democracy and Unity secured 3 seats, and the opposition parties Action for Change and Union of Forces for Progress won 4 seats each.

Nicaragua: In presidential balloting held on November 4, Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC) candidate Enrique Bolaños Geyer received 56 percent of the vote, defeating José Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), who secured 42 percent. In legislative elections held on the same day, the PLC won 53 percent of the vote and 47 seats in the 93-seat unicameral National Assembly. The FSLN received 42 percent of the vote and 43 seats, while the Conservative Party of Nicaragua (PCN) received only 2 percent (2 seats). An independent observer mission headed by the Carter Center declared the elections an accurate reflection of the will of the people.

Poland: In September 23 parliamentary elections, the center-left coalition of the formerly communist Democratic Left Alliance and Labor Union (SLD-UP) secured 41 percent of the vote, winning 216 seats in the lower house, the 460-seat Sejm. Both the governing Solidarity Electoral Action and its former coalition partner Freedom Union suffered an unprecedented defeat, neither gaining enough support to win seats in [End Page 181] the Sejm. The Civic Platform (PO), a new centrist party led by Andrzej Olechowski, gained 13 percent and 65 seats; the rural populist Self-Defense Party (SO) won 10 percent and 53 seats; and the Polish Peasant Party (PSL) secured 9 percent and 42 seats. Lech Kaczynski’s new center-right Law and Justice (PiS) party won 9 percent (44 seats), while the new far-right Catholic League of Polish Families (LPR) won 8 percent (38 seats). In the Senate, the SLD-UP won 75 seats; the SO, 2 seats; the PSL, 4 seats; and the LPR, 2 seats. To secure a majority in the Sejm, the SLD-UP formed a coalition with the PSL.

Solomon Islands: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for December 5. Results will be published in a future issue.

Sri Lanka: In December 5 elections for Parliament, held after President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved that body exactly a year after the previous elections, the opposition United National Party (UNP) and its coalition partners secured a total of 109 seats in the 225-member body, and the UNP-allied Sri Lanka Muslim Congress won 5, thereby making UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe prime minister. The People’s Alliance coalition (led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga) won 77 seats, while its Maoist ally, the People’s Liberation Front (JVP), received 16 seats. The four-party Tamil National Alliance won 15 seats.

Taiwan: In December 1 balloting, President Chen Shui-bian’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won 36.6 percent of the vote and 87 seats in the 225-seat Legislative Yuan. The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) lost its majority, securing only 31.3 percent of the vote and 68 seats. The People’s First Party, headed by former KMT leader James Soong, gained 20.3 percent and 46 seats, more than double the number of seats it previously held. The Taiwan Solidarity Union, a potential DPP coalition partner founded by former president Lee Teng-hui, won 8.5 percent of the vote and 13 seats.

Trinidad and Tobago: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for December 10. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Zambia: Presidential and legislative elections were scheduled for December 27. Results will be published in a future issue.

(January-December 2002)

Albania: presidential, 2002 (undetermined date)

The Bahamas: parliamentary, March 2002 [End Page 182]

Bolivia: presidential/legislative, June 2002

Bosnia-Herzegovina: presidential, September 2002

Brazil: presidential/legislative, October 2002

Burkina Faso: parliamentary, May 2002

Cameroon: parliamentary, May 2002

Chad: parliamentary, 2002 (undetermined date)

Colombia: legislative, March 2002; presidential, May 2002

Costa Rica: presidential/legislative, 2 February 2002

Czech Republic: parliamentary, June 2002

Djibouti: parliamentary, 20 December 2002

Dominican Republic: legislative, May 2002

Ecuador: presidential/legislative, October 2002

Gabon: parliamentary, January 2002

The Gambia: legislative, January 2002

Hungary: parliamentary, Spring 2002

Jamaica: parliamentary, March 2002

Latvia: parliamentary, 5 October 2002

Lesotho: parliamentary, January 2002

Macedonia: parliamentary, April 2002

Madagascar: parliamentary, May 2002

Mali: presidential, May 2002 (latest)

Mauritius: presidential, 2002 (undetermined date)

Morocco: parliamentary, November 2002

Pakistan: legislative, 1 October 2002

Papua New Guinea: parliamentary, June 2002

Sierra Leone: presidential/parliamentary, 14 May 2002

Singapore: parliamentary, January 2002

Slovakia: parliamentary, September 2002

Slovenia: presidential, November 2002

South Korea: presidential, 18 December 2002

Togo: parliamentary, 10 March 2002

Ukraine: parliamentary, 31 March 2002

Zimbabwe: presidential, March 2002

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. Much of the data for Election Watch is provided by the International Foundation for Election Systems (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, contact: IFES, 1101 15th Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 828-8507; www.ifes.org.