In January 7 elections for the 300-seat unicameral House of the Nation, the ruling Awami League party of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won 223 seats and secured a fourth consecutive term in office. The Jatiya Party, an Awami League ally, won 11 seats; independent candidates, mostly Awami League supporters, won 61 seats; and smaller parties captured 3 seats. Elections for the remaining two seats were suspended due to the death of a candidate and the cancellation of voting in one constituency. International observers dispute whether the elections were truly free and fair. Many parties, including the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), boycotted the elections. Turnout was the second lowest in the country’s democratic history at 41.8 percent.
Elections for all 47 seats in the National Assembly, the lower house of the Bhutanese Parliament, took place on January 9. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of former prime minister Tshering Tobgay, who will assume the office for a second time, won 30 seats, and the Bhutan Tendrel Party won the remaining 17 seats. Turnout was 65.6 percent.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Presidential and legislative elections were held on 20 December 2023, though voting was officially extended to December 22 due to logistical problems opening polling stations. Opposition leaders decried the vote as a “sham” and a “massive fraud,” and independent election monitors, including the Catholic and Protestant Churches’ joint mission, cited irregularities. In the presidential contest, incumbent Felix Tshisekedi of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) won a second term with 73.5 percent of the vote. Moïse Katumbi of Together for the Republic (EPR) came in second with 18.1 percent; Martin Fayulu of the Commitment for Citizenship and Development (ECiDé) followed with 4.9 percent; and more than twenty other candidates split the remaining share of the vote. Turnout was more than 40 percent.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has postponed the publication of the legislative contest’s results, annulled results in two constituencies due to “acts of violence, vandalism, and sabotage,” and disqualified 82 candidates for corruption and fraud.
In the sham presidential election held on 10–12 December 2023, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won a third term with 89.6 percent of the vote. He will serve another six years, with the possibility of running again in the next election after a 2019 constitutional referendum extended presidential term limits from two consecutive four-year terms to two consecutive six-year terms. Sisi ran virtually unopposed against three unknown and under-resourced candidates. Hazem Omar of the Republican People’s Party came in second with 4.5 percent; Farid Zahran of the Social Democratic Party received 4 percent; and Abdel-Sanad Yamama of the Wafd Party received 1.9 percent. Turnout was an “unprecedented” 66.8 percent.
Snap elections for the 250-seat National Assembly took place on 17 December 2023, though voting was repeated at eight polling stations later in the month. The ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of President Aleksandar Vučić won 46.8 percent of the vote and 130 seats. The result gives SNS an absolute majority in the parliament and will allow the party to unilaterally form a government. The opposition coalition Serbia Against Violence garnered 23.7 percent of the vote and 65 seats; the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) won 6.6 percent and 18 seats; the National Democratic Alternative (NADA) coalition led by the New Democratic Party of Serbia (NDSS) secured 5 percent and 14 seats; and the pro-Russian Voice from the People movement, originally a YouTube channel, won 4.7 percent and 13 seats. Smaller ethnic minority parties will share the remaining 10 seats.
The snap election was triggered when Vučić dissolved the parliament in November 2023 under increasing political pressure and criticism from citizens and the European Union. International observers noted that the SNS had an unfair advantage in the election “through media bias, the improper influence of President Aleksandar Vučić, and voting irregularities such as vote buying.” Massive demonstrations to annul the elections took place in late December, but the results were verified by the Serbian Electoral Commission on 3 January 2024. Turnout was 58.8 percent.
In the January 11 elections for the 15-seat unicameral Parliament, the National Alliance of Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs emerged on top with 4 seats. The United People’s Party secured 3 seats. The Unified Resilient Sint Maarten Movement (URSM), the Party for Progress (PFP), the Democratic Party (DP), and Nation Opportunity Wealth (NOW) took the remaining seats, winning 2 seats each. Turnout was 65.1 percent.
In the January 13 presidential election, Lai Ching-Te received just over 40 percent of the vote to win an unprecedented third consecutive term for his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang (KMT) party received 33.5 percent, and political outsider Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) came in third with 26.5 percent. In concurrent legislative elections, with all 113 seats in the unicameral Legislative Yuan at stake, the DPP won 51 seats, the KMT won 52, and the TPP won 8. Turnout was roughly 71 percent. For more details on the election and what it means for Taiwan going forward, read Raymond Kuo’s new essay “Why Taiwan’s Voters Defied Beijing—Again.”