Election Watch

Issue Date October 1994
Volume 5
Issue 4
Page Numbers 180-83
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ELECTION RESULTS (June-September 1994)

Barbados: In elections on September 6, the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) won 19 of the 28 seats in the House of Assembly. The ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) garnered 8 seats and the National Democratic Party (NDP) followed with 1 seat. BLP leader Owen Arthur, a 44-year-old economist, was sworn in as prime minister, succeeding Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, who had held the office since 1987.

Belarus: Running on a platform of anticorruption and greater economic integration with Russia, radical populist candidate Alexander Lukashenko soundly defeated Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kebich in a runoff presidential election on July 10, winning more than 80 percent of the vote. Kebich, previously assumed to be the favorite, finished with only 14 percent. In the first round of balloting on June 23, Lukashenko took nearly 45 percent of the vote but fell short of the majority needed to win, while Kebich finished second with 17 percent.

Colombia: In a presidential runoff held on June 19, Liberal Party candidate Emesto Samper Pizano won 50.3 percent of the vote to defeat Conservative Party candidate Andrés Pastrana Arango, who took 48.6 percent. This was Colombia’s closest presidential race in more than two decades; unlike the violent 1990 presidential campaign that saw the murders of three candidates, it was also one of the most peaceful.

Dominican Republic: Unofficial results from legislative elections held on May 16 showed the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) in first place, with 15 of the 30 contested seats in the Senate and 57 seats in the 120-member Chamber of Deputies. The PRD was followed closely in both houses by President Joaquín Balaguer’s Revolutionary Social Christian [End Page 180] Party (PRSC), which took 14 seats in the Senate and 50 seats in the lower house. The Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) trailed with 1 seat in the Senate and 13 seats in the Chamber.

Guatemala: The Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG), the party of former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, which pledged during its preelection campaign to crack down on crime and corruption, emerged victorious in legislative elections held on August 14, taking 32 seats in the reduced 80-member Congress (constitutional reforms passed in January 1994 eliminated 36 seats). Ríos Montt, who was deposed in 1983 by a military coup, will now assume a legislative seat. The National Advancement Party (PAN) finished with 24 seats, followed by the Guatemalan Christian Democratic Party, which won a total of 13 seats. The National Center Union, the National Liberation Movement, and the Democratic Union divided the remaining 11 seats.

Guinea-Bissau: In a first-round presidential election held on July 3, President João Bernardo Vieira took 46 percent of the vote—24 percentage points more than his nearest opponent, Koumba Yalla, but not an outright majority. In a runoff on August 7, Vieira won with 52 percent of the vote. In legislative elections on July 3, the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde succeeded in winning 64 of the 100 contested seats in the National Assembly with 46 percent of the vote. The remaining seats were split among four other parties.

Mexico: Months of international speculation over the outcome of Mexico’s August 21 presidential election ended with a clear victory by ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, who finished at the polls with slightly more than 50 percent of the vote. His nearest opponent, Diego Fernáindez de Cevallos of the National Action Party (PAN), finished with 28 percent of the vote, followed by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), who trailed with less than 17 percent of the vote. Though there were reports of some irregularities, the elections were generally regarded as the cleanest in Mexico’s history. The PRI victory will extend the party’s unbroken 65-year rule through the year 2000.

Panama: In legislative elections on May 8, the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) of newly elected president Ernesto Pérez Balladares won 31 of 72 seats in the legislature. The Arnulfista Party (PA) finished second with 14 seats, followed by the Papa Egoro party with 6 and MOLIRENA with 5. The remaining 16 seats were divided among nine other parties.

Slovakia: Parliamentary elections were scheduled to take place on September 30, and results will be reported in our next issue. [End Page 181]

Sri Lanka: The People’s Alliance, a coalition of leftist opposition parties led by Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunge, defeated the ruling United National Party in parliamentary elections on August 16, ending that party’s 17-year rule. The People’s Alliance won 105 seats in the 225-member parliament, falling just short of a majority. The United National Party finished with 94 seats, and six smaller parties split the remaining 26 seats. Kumaranatunge, the daughter of two former prime ministers, was named the new prime minister following the election.

Ukraine: Former prime minister Leonid Kuchma came from behind in a presidential runoff on July 10 to defeat incumbent Leonid Kravchuk, who had served as president since Ukraine’s break with Moscow in 1991. Final tallies showed Kuchma finishing with 51.6 percent of the vote, and Kravchuk trailing with 45.5 percent. This reversed the outcome of the June 27 first round, in which Kravchuk finished with 37.7 percent, to Kuchma’s 31.3 percent. This election served to illustrate the growing divisions between the nation’s nationalistic western region and its industrialized eastern region, which is heavily populated by ethnic Russians. Kravchuk was popular in the west, taking 94 percent of the vote in the Lviv region. Kuchma, on the other hand, succeeded in securing about two-thirds of the vote in eastern Ukraine and nearly 90 percent in Crimea. Meanwhile, 400 new deputies have been elected in the ongoing parliamentary elections that began on March 27. A new round of elections will be held in November in the 47 districts that failed to achieve 50-percent voter turnout. Fifty of the 450 seats remain unfilled. Results from these elections will appear in our next issue.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (October 1994-September 1995)

Argentina: presidential, 14 May 1995

Brazil: presidential/legislative, 3 October 1994

Kyrgyzstan: parliamentary, February 1995*

Macedonia: parliamentary, November 1994*

Mozambique: presidential/parliamentary, 27-28 October 1994

Nepal: parliamentary, 13 November 1994

Peru: presidential/legislative, 9 April 1995 [End Page 182]

São Tomé & Príncipe: legislative, 2 October 1994

Uruguay: presidential/legislative, 27 November 1994


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 183]