ELECTION RESULTS (December 2004–March 2005)
Central African Republic: Presidential and parliamentary elections were scheduled for March 13; results will be reported in a future issue.
Croatia: In a January 16 presidential runoff, incumbent Stjepan Mesić, who was backed by eight political parties, defeated Jadranka Kosor of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) by 66 to 34 percent. In the January 2 first round, Mesić had won 49 percent; Kosor, 20 percent; and independent candidate Boris Mikŝić, 18 percent. Turnout for both rounds was about 50 percent.
Ghana: In December 7 elections to the 230-seat National Assembly, 129 seats went to the New Patriotic Party of President John Agyekum Kufuor, while the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won 94 seats. The People’s National Convention won 4 seats, and the Convention People’s Party won 3. In a presidential contest held the same day, Kufuor was reelected with 53 percent of the vote; his main opponent, John Evans Atta Mills of the NDC, received 44 percent.
Iraq: In the first multiparty elections in half a century, held on January 30, the Shi’ite-dominated United Iraqi Alliance won 140 of the 275 seats in the National Assembly, followed by the Kurdistan Alliance, which won 75 seats. The Iraqi List, headed by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, received 40 seats. The remaining 20 seats were split among nine other parties. Despite threats of terrorist attacks, turnout exceeded 50 percent nationwide, but was significantly lower among Sunni Arabs. The International Mission for Iraqi Elections stated that the election “generally [met] recognized standards in terms of election law, planning, and preparations.”
Kyrgyzstan: The first round of voting for the new 75-seat unicameral parliament was held on February 27. Preliminary results showed few oppositionists among the 30 or so candidates who scored first-round [End Page 174] victories. Remaining seats will be filled in a second round, scheduled for March 13. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Maldives: Elections were held on January 22 to fill 42 of 50 seats in the People’s Council (eight members are appointed by the president). As political parties are prohibited, all candidates run as independents, but approximately half of those elected are said to be loyal to the exiled opposition Maldivian Democratic Party. At the opening of the new parliament, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has been in power since 1978, promised to transform the country’s political system into a multiparty democracy.
Micronesia: Parliamentary elections were held on March 8; results will be reported in a future issue.
Moldova: According to preliminary results of the March 6 elections to the 101-seat Parliament, the ruling Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova, which in recent years has reoriented toward the West, garnered 46 percent of the vote and 55 seats. The Democratic Bloc of Moldova received 28 percent and 35 seats, and the Christian Democratic People’s Party won 9 percent and 11 seats. No other party received enough votes to gain seats. International observers said that while the election broadly met international democratic standards, it also “fell short of some key commitments, particularly regarding campaign conditions and media access.”
Mozambique: In parliamentary elections held December 1–2, the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) of President Joaquim Chissano won 62 percent and 160 of the 250 seats in the Assembly of the Republic. Thirty percent of the vote and the remaining 90 seats went to the opposition Mozambique National Resistance/Electoral Union (Renamo/UE). No other party surpassed the 5 percent threshold. In concurrent presidential balloting, Armando Guebuza of Frelimo was elected with 63.7 percent of the vote, while Afonso Dhlakama of Renamo/UE received 31.7 percent. International observers stated that, despite flaws in the electoral process, the validity of the overall election results is not in question. Turnout was exceptionally low at 36.3 percent.
Niger: In December 4 elections to the 113-seat National Assembly, President Mamadou Tandja’s National Movement for a Developing Society–Victorywon 47 seats. The opposition Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism–Tarayya and its allies received 25 seats, and the Democratic and Social Convention–Rahama received 22 seats. Four other parties split the remaining 19 seats. Two rounds of presidential elections were held on November 16 and December 4; results were reported in our January issue.
Palestinian Territories: Following the November 11 death of President Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Liberation Movement (Fatah), a presidential [End Page 175] election was held on January 9. Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah was elected with 67 percent of the vote, while independent candidate Mustafa Barghouti came in second with 21 percent. No other candidate won more than 4 percent. International observers stated that the election was “contested vigorously and administered fairly.”
Somaliland: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for March 29; results will be reported in a future issue.
Taiwan: In December 11 elections to the 225-member Legislative Yuan, 114 seats went to the Pan-Blue coalition of the Kuomintang and the People First Party, while 101 seats went to the Pan-Green alliance, comprising President Chen Shui-bian’s Democratic Progressive Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union. The Non-Partisan Solidarity Union won 6 seats, and 4 seats went to independents. For more information on these elections, see Yun-han Chu’s article on pp. 43–57 of this issue.
Tajikistan: The first round of balloting for the 63-seat Assembly of Representatives was held on February 27 (a second round was scheduled for March 24). Preliminary results handed a vast majority of the seats to the ruling People’s Democratic Party. Final results will be reported in a future issue.
Thailand: According to preliminary results of the February 6 legislative elections, the Thai Rak Thai party of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra won 376 of the 500 seats in the House of Representatives, while the Democrat Party received 97 seats and the Thai Nation Party, 25 seats. For more information on this election, see the article by Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker on pp. 58–72 of this issue.
Ukraine: In a December 26 repeat of the November 21 runoff, which had been nullified by the Supreme Court, Viktor Yushchenko of Our Ukraine received 52 percent of the vote, defeating Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych of Regions of Ukraine, who received 44 percent. For more information on these elections, see the articles by Taras Kuzio and Lucan Way on pp. 117–45 of this issue.
Zimbabwe: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for March 31; results will be reported in a future issue.
UPCOMING ELECTIONS (April 2005—March 2006)
Albania: parliamentary, June 2005
Argentina: legislative, 23 October 2005
Azerbaijan: parliamentary, November 2005
Benin: presidential, March 2006 [End Page 176]
Bulgaria: parliamentary, 25 June 2005
Burundi: presidential and legislative, 22 April 2005
Cape Verde: parliamentary, December 2005; presidential, February 2006
Chile: presidential and legislative, 14 December 2005
Costa Rica: presidential and legislative, 6 February 2006
Dominica: parliamentary, 11 April 2005
Egypt: presidential, October 2005; parliamentary, November 2005
Ethiopia: parliamentary, 15 May 2005
Guyana: presidential and parliamentary, March 2006
Haiti: presidential and parliamentary, 20 November 2005
Honduras: presidential and legislative, 27 November 2005
Iran: presidential, 17 June 2005
Kyrgyzstan: presidential, 20 October 2005
Lebanon: parliamentary, May 2005
Liberia: presidential and legislative, 11 October 2005
Mauritius: parliamentary, September 2005
Mongolia: presidential, 22 May 2005
Palestinian Territories: parliamentary, 17 July 2005
Poland: parliamentary, September 2005; presidential, 20 October 2005
São Tomé and Príncipe: parliamentary, March 2006
Singapore: presidential, August 2005
Solomon Islands: parliamentary, December 2005
Sri Lanka: presidential, December 2005
Suriname: presidential and parliamentary, 25 May 2005
Tanzania: presidential and parliamentary, 30 October 2005
Togo: presidential, April 2005
Venezuela: legislative, July 2005
Zimbabwe: presidential, March 2006
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. Some of the data for Election Watch come IFES (formerly the
International Foundation for Election Systems), a nonpartisan, democracy and governance assistance organization that provides targeted technical assistance to
strengthen transitional democracies. For additional information, visit www.ifes.org.