Election Watch

Issue Date January 1992
Volume 3
Issue 1
Page Numbers 123-26
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

ELECTION RESULTS (September-December 1991)

Algeria: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for 26 December 1991. Results will be published in our next issue.

Argentina: The third and final round of elections to the 254-seat Chamber of National Deputies and the 46-seat Senate was held on 27 October 1991. In the final results, President Carlos Menem’s Justicialist Party (PJ) won 117 seats in the Chamber of National Deputies, taking 46 percent of the votes. The Radical Civic Union (UCR) gathered 33.4 percent (85 seats); the Union of the Democratic Center (UCD), provincial parties, and other allied parties won 14.9 percent (38 seats); left and center-left parties received 4.3 percent (11 seats); and other parties took 1.2 percent (3 seats). In the Senate, the PJ won 26 seats with 56.5 percent of the votes; the UCR received 30.4 percent and 14 seats; and provincial parties obtained 13 percent and 6 senators.

Bulgaria: In legislative elections on 13 October 1991, the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) won a narrow plurality with 34.4 percent of the vote, controlling 110 of the 240 seats in the National Assembly. The former communists, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), took 33.1 percent of the vote and 106 seats. The remaining 24 seats and the balance of power were claimed by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, representing Bulgaria’s large ethnic-Turkish minority, which won 7.5 percent. None of the other 58 parties attained the 4-percent minimum required to gain seats in parliament, although together they received 25 percent of the ballots cast. Filip Dmitrov, the new UDF prime minister, faces a difficult task in forming the country’s first noncommunist government in 46 years. Voter turnout was high, with 80 percent of the electorate participating. [End Page 123]

Burkina Faso: On 1 December 1991 Captain Blaise Compaoré of the Popular Front (FP) was reelected president, but only 25 percent of the electorate participated in the balloting due to an opposition boycott of the elections over Compaoré’s refusal to hold a national conference.

Colombia: In legislative elections on 27 October 1991, President César Gaviria’s Liberal Party won 57 seats in the 102-seat Senate and 86 seats in the 161-seat Chamber of Deputies, in addition to 15 of the 27 governorships. Two new parties fared well, with the M-19 Democratic Alliance gaining 9 senators and 15 deputies, and the New Democratic Force winning 12 Senate seats. The fractured Conservative Party won only 8 Senate seats. The remaining seats in both chambers were split among smaller parties. Only one-third of the 15 million eligible voters went to the polls.

India: Prime Minister Narasimha Rao’s Congress (I) party did better than expected, winning 8 of 16 seats in parliamentary by-elections on 16 November 1991. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took 2 seats, and two smaller parties won 1 each. Violence in Bihar state resulted in 3 seats being repolled, and the result in 1 constituency is being contested.

Kazakhstan: Running unopposed on 1 December 1991 in the first presidential election in this Central Asian republic of the former Soviet Union, Nursultan Nazarbayev won nearly 99 percent of the vote.

Mauritius: Sixty of the 70 members of the Legislative Assembly were elected on 15 September 1991. According to official results, the ruling coalition led by the Mauritian Socialist Movement took 57 seats.

Poland: On 27 October 1991, Poland held its first entirely free parliamentary elections since World War II. Only 42 percent of the eligible population voted, electing representatives of 29 parties to the lower house (Sejm). The top two finishers, with about 12 percent of the vote each, were former prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s Democratic Union and the former communists, the Democratic Left Alliance. Following closely were Catholic Action, the Center Alliance, and the Polish Peasants’ Party (formerly allied with the Communists), each with almost 9 percent of the vote, and the Confederation for an Independent Poland and outgoing prime minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki’s Liberal Democratic Congress, with about 7.5 percent each. Eight weeks after the elections a new government still had not been formed.

Tadzhikistan: On 24 November 1991, Rakhmon Nabiyev was elected president with 58 percent of the vote amid accusations of fraud, while his closest rival polled 25 percent. [End Page 124]

Trinidad and Tobago: New prime minister Patrick Manning’s largely black People’s National Movement won 21 of 36 seats in parliamentary elections on 16 December 1991. The United National Congress, a predominantly Indian party, took 13 seats; the former ruling party, the National Alliance for Reconstruction, won only 2 seats.

Turkey: In parliamentary elections on 20 October 1991, the conservative Motherland Party of President Turgut Özal lost its hold on the government by polling only 24 percent. The True Path Party (DYP) won a plurality with 27 percent; the Social Democrat Populist Party (SHP) took 21 percent, the pro-Islamic Welfare Party (RP) 17 percent, and the Democratic Left Party (DSP) 11 percent. New prime minister Stileyman Demirel of the center-right DYP, returning to power after 11 years, has formed a coalition with the SHP. Together these parties control 266 of the 450 seats in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

Ukraine: On 1 December 1991, the citizens of Ukraine overwhelmingly passed a referendum in favor of independence from the Soviet Union and elected Leonid Kravchuk their first president. Kravchuk, a former communist ideologist, gathered 61 percent of the 31.5 million votes cast. His nearest rival, Vyacheslav Chornovil, a former dissident and member of the nationalist Rukh movement, received 26 percent.

Vanuatu: In elections to the 46-seat Parliament on 2 December 1991, the United Moderate Party won about 20 seats and its coalition partner, the National United Party, took about 10 seats. Vanua’aku Pati also took about 10 seats; the Melanesian Progressive Party claimed 4 or 5 seats; and the Tan Union took 1 seat.

Zambia: In Zambia’s first multiparty elections in nearly 20 years on 31 October-1 November 1991, Frederick Chiluba soundly defeated Kenneth Kaunda, winning about 85 percent of the vote. Kaunda’s gracious exit from power, after having served as president since the nation’s independence from Britain in 1964, marked the first time that an entrenched one-party regime in Anglophone Africa has lost at the polls. In separate voting for the 150-seat legislature, Chiluba’s Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) took nearly 90 percent of the ballots.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (January-December 1992)

Angola: presidential/legislative, September-November 1992*

Bahamas: parliamentary, June 1992* [End Page 125]

Bulgaria: presidential, 12 January 1992

Burkina Faso: legislative, 12 January 1992*

Comoros: legislative, spring 1992*

Czech and Slovak Federal Republic: parliamentary, June 1992*

Ecuador: presidential, May 1992*

Fiji: parliamentary, July 1992*

Gambia: presidential, 1 September 1992

Indonesia: parliamentary, 1 April 1992

Liberia: presidential, 30 April 1992*

Mali: presidential/legislative, January-March 1992*

Malta: parliamentary, 1 May 1992*

Nigeria: presidential/legislative, mid-1992*

Papua New Guinea: parliamentary, 1 June 1992

Philippines: presidential/legislative, 11 May 1992

Romania: parliamentary, spring 1992*; presidential, summer 1992*

St. Lucia: parliamentary, 1 April 1992

* tentative 

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in postcommunist and developing countries. 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. This information is current as we go to press; however, election dates are often moved due to changing circumstances. The data in Election Watch are provided by the International Foundation for Electoral 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, 1620 1 Street, N.W., Suite 611, Washington, DC 20006; (202) 828-8507. [End Page 126]