Election Results (September–December 1998)
Azerbaijan: In October 11 presidential balloting, incumbent Heydar Aliyev of the New Azerbaijan Party was reelected with 76.1 percent of the vote. Etibar Mamedov of the Azerbaijan National Independence Party came in second with 11.6 percent, followed by Nizami Suleymanov of the Independent Azerbaijan Party with 8.1 percent. The elections were boycotted by major opposition leaders and criticized as flawed and undemocratic by international observers. Reported voter turnout was high, with approximately 78 percent of eligible voters casting ballots.
Bosnia-Herzegovina: In elections for the three-member rotating presidency held on September 12–13, Alija Izetbegovic of the Party of Democratic Action garnered 86.8 percent of the vote for the Bosniak slot, Zivko Radisic of the Socialist Party won 51.3 percent of the vote for the Serb slot, and Ante Jelavic of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) secured 52.9 percent of the vote for the Croat slot. In concurrent voting for the 42 directly elected seats in the House of Representatives, the Coalition for a Whole and Democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina, led by Alija Izetbegovic and Haris Silajdzic, won 17 seats; the HDZ, led by Ante Jelavic, won 6 seats; the Coalition Sloga, led by Biljana Plavsic and Milorad Dodik, won 4 seats; the Serb Democratic Party List, led by Dragan Kalinic and Nikola Spiric, won 4 seats; and the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, led by Zlatko Lagumdzija, took 4 seats. The remaining seven seats were split among minor parties.
Brazil: On October 4, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) was reelected to a second term in office, winning 53 percent of the vote. He defeated Luiz Inacio da Silva of the Workers’ Party (PT), who came in second with 31.7 percent, and Ciro Gomes of the Popular Socialist Party, who came in third with 11 percent. In concurrent voting for the 513-seat Chamber of Deputies, the Liberal Front Party (PFL) won 105 seats, the PSDB won 99 seats, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) won 83 seats, the Brazilian Progressive Party won 60 seats, the PT won 58 seats, the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB) won 31 seats, and the Demo-cratic Labor Party won 25 seats. In balloting for 27 seats in the 81-seat Federal Senate, the PFL won 5 seats, the PSDB won 4 seats, the PMDB won 12 seats, and the PT won 3 seats.
Burkina Faso: President Blaise Compaoré of the Congress for Democracy and Progress was reelected in a landslide victory on November 15, capturing 87.5 percent of the vote in elections boycotted by major opposition forces. Compaoré defeated Ram Ouédraogo of the Union of Greens for the Development of Burkina, who won 6.6 percent, and Frederic Guirma of the Front of Refusal of the Democratic African Assembly, who took 5.9 percent. Voter turnout was estimated at 56 percent.
Central African Republic: Two rounds of voting for the 109-seat National Assembly were scheduled for November 22 and December 13. Results will be published in a future issue.
Czech Republic: Following two rounds of voting on November 13–14 and 20–21 for 27 seats in the 81-seat Senate, candidates of the four-party coalition led by the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union won 13 seats. The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of Václav Klaus finished second with 9 seats. The governing Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party followed with 2 seats each. Voter turnout was a historic low, estimated at slightly over 20 percent.
Gabon: In December 6 presidential elections, Omar Bongo of the Democratic Party of Gabon was reelected with 66.6 percent of the vote. Pierre Mamboundou, leader of the Union of the Gabonese People, came in a distant second with 17 percent of the vote. Voter turnout was reported at 54 percent. Charging fraud, Mamboundou and his followers refused to accept the election results.
Guinea: Presidential elections were scheduled for December 14. Re-sults will be published in a future issue.
Latvia: In October 3 elections to the 100-seat Saeima, the People’s Party (led by Andris Skéle) won 24 seats; Latvia’s Way (led by Andrejs Pantelejevs) won 21 seats; the Fatherland and Freedom Party/LNNK (led by Andrejs Krastins) won 17 seats; the Harmony for Latvia Party (led by Ernests Jurkans) won 16 seats; Latvia’s Social Democrat Alliance (led by Juris Bojars) won 14 seats; and the New Party (led by Raimonds Pauls) won 8 seats.
Macedonia: Following two rounds of parliamentary voting on October 18 and November 1, an opposition coalition comprising the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, the Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity, and the Democratic Alternative won 59 seats in the country’s 120-seat Sobranie, ousting President Kiro Gligorov’s ruling Social Democrats, who secured only 29 seats. The Party for Democratic Prosperity-Democratic Party for Albanians took 25. The remaining seats went to minor parties.
Slovakia: In parliamentary elections held on September 25–26 for the 150-seat Narodna Rada, an opposition coalition won 93 seats, bringing down the government of Prime Minister Vladimír Meciar. For further details, see the article by Martin Bútora and Zora Bútorová on pp. 80–95 above.
Taiwan: The Kuomintang Party of President Lee Teng-hui retained control of the 225-seat Legislative Yuan in December 5 legislative elections, winning 46.4 percent of the vote and 123 seats. The opposition Democratic Progressive Party took 29.6 percent and 70 seats, followed by the New Party with 7.1 percent and 11 seats.
Venezuela: Hugo Chávez, leader of a failed 1992 coup attempt, swept December 6 presidential elections. Preliminary results showed Chávez with 56.4 percent of the vote and Henrique Salas Römer, his closest rival, with 39.5 percent. In November 8 elections for 189 seats in the 203-seat Chamber of Deputies, Chávez’s Patriotic Pole coalition (consisting of the Fifth Republic Movement, the Movement to Socialism, and Patria Para Todos) won 70 seats, Democratic Action (AD) won 55 seats, the Social Christian Party (COPEI) won 27 seats, and the Proyecto Venezuela Party (PRVZL) won 24 seats. In concurrent balloting for 48 seats in the 52-seat Senate, AD won 19 seats, the Patriotic Pole coalition won 18 seats, COPEI won 6 seats, and PRVZL won 2 seats.
Upcoming Elections (January–December 1999)
Algeria: presidential, April 1999
Argentina: presidential/legislative, October 1999
Benin: legislative, March 1999
Botswana: presidential/parliamentary, October 1999
Chile: presidential, 11 December 1999
Djibouti: presidential, May 1999
El Salvador: presidential, 7 March 1999
Estonia: parliamentary, 5 March 1999
Fiji: parliamentary, 24 April 1999
Guatemala: presidential/legislative, November 1999
Guinea-Bissau: parliamentary, March 1999
Indonesia: parliamentary, 7 June 1999
Kazakhstan: presidential, 10 January 1999; parliamentary, 5 and 9 October 1999
Kyrgyzstan: parliamentary, October 1999
Macedonia: presidential, September 1999
Malawi: presidential/parliamentary, May 1999
Mozambique: presidential/parliamentary, October 1999
Nigeria: legislative, 20 February 1999; presidential, 27 February 1999
Panama: presidential/legislative, 2 May 1999
South Africa: parliamentary, Spring 1999
Tajikistan: presidential, November 1999
Turkey: parliamentary, 18 April 1999
Ukraine: presidential, October 1999
Uruguay: presidential/legislative, 31 October 1999
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.