Election Watch

Issue Date January 2013
Volume 24
Issue 1
Page Numbers 179-182
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Election Results

(October–December 2012)

Belarus: Belarus held elections on September 23 for the House of Representatives. Leading opposition parties, including the United Civic Party and the Belarus Popular Front, boycotted the election, and parties associated with President Alyaksandr Lukashenka won all 110 seats. Election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) issued a statement saying that “citizens’ rights to associate, to stand as candidates, and to express themselves freely were not respected.”

Burkina Faso: In December 2 elections for the 127-seat National Assembly, President Blaise Compaoré’s Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) won 70 seats. The Union for Progress and Change (UPC), a recently formed opposition group, won 19 seats. The Alliance for Democracy and Federation–African Democratic Rally won 18 seats. Ten other parties split the remaining 20 seats. While international observers, including the African Union, largely praised the elections, the UPC alleged fraud in the populous district of Kadiogo.

Georgia: In October 1 elections for the 150-seat Parliament, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition won 55 percent of the vote and 85 seats. President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement won 40 percent of the vote and 65 seats. No other party cleared the 5-percent threshold required to earn seats in Parliament. For an in-depth analysis of political developments in Georgia by Charles H. Fairbanks, Jr., and Alexi Gugushvili, see p. 117 above.

Ghana: In the December 7 presidential election, the National Democratic Party’s John Dramani Mahama, who succeeded President John Atta Mills upon his death in July, won with 51 percent of the vote, defeating the New [End Page 179] Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo, who won 48 percent of the vote. By winning a majority, Mahama avoided a runoff. While international observers, including the African Union and Economic Community of West African States, praised the election, the NPP, citing evidence of fraud, pledged to legally contest the results. The results of the parliamentary elections, also held on that day, will be reported in a future issue.

Kuwait: On December 2, Kuwait held elections to fill the 50-seat National Assembly. In June, the constitutional court had dissolved the recently elected (and Islamist-led) Assembly, and restored its predecessor. With much of the opposition boycotting the new election due to a contentious amendment to the electoral law, most seats were won by candidates supporting the government (including 17 Shias). Following the elections, protesters clashed with riot police.

Lithuania: In elections held on October 14 and 28 for the 141-seat Parliament, the Social Democratic Party (LSDP) won 38 seats, the Home-land Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats coalition of outgoing prime minister Andrius Kubilius won 33, and the Labor Party won 29. Former president Rolandas Paksas’s For Order and Justice won 11 seats; the Liberals’ Movement, 10; the Lithuanian Poles’ Electoral Action, 8; and the Way of Courage Party, 7. Algirdas Butkevičius of the LSDP was chosen as prime minister.

Montenegro: In October 14 elections for the 81-seat Assembly, the European Montenegro coalition won 46 percent of the vote and 39 seats, returning Milo Đukanović to the prime ministership. The recently formed opposition coalition, the Democratic Front, won 23 percent and 20 seats. The Socialist People’s Party of Montenegro won 11 percent of the vote and 9 seats, and Positive Montenegro won 8 percent and 7 seats. Smaller parties won the remaining 6 seats.

Romania: In elections held December 9 for the bicameral Parliament, Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s Social Liberal Union (USL) won a majority in both houses. In the Senate, according to preliminary results, USL won 60 percent of the vote, while President Traian Băsescu’s Right Romania Alliance (ARD) won 17 percent, the People’s Party (PP-DD) won 15 percent, and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) won 5 percent. In the Chamber of Deputies, USL won 59 percent, ARD won 17 percent, PP-DD won 14 percent, and UDMR won 5 percent. No other parties cleared the 5-percent threshold required to earn a seat in either house.

Sierra Leone: In a presidential election held on November 17, incumbent Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People’s Congress (APC) won 59 [End Page 180] percent of the vote, defeating Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), who won 37 percent. In elections held on the same day for 112 seats of the 124-member parliament, the APC won 67 seats and the SLPP won 42 seats. Three seats remained vacant. A European Union observer mission praised the elections.

Slovenia: In a presidential runoff election held on December 2, former prime minister Borut Pahor of the Social Democrats defeated incumbent president Danilo Türk, an independent, winning 67 percent of the vote. In the first round on November 11, Pahor won 40 percent of the vote, Türk won 36 percent, and Milan Zver of the Slovenian Democratic Party finished third with 24 percent.

South Korea: The presidential election was scheduled to be held on December 19; results will be reported in a future issue.

Ukraine: In October 28 parliamentary elections, President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions won 185 of the 450 seats. Communists and independents, most aligned with Regions, won 32 and 43 seats, respectively. The three main opposition groups—imprisoned former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc, boxer Vitaly Klitschko’s UDAR party, and the nationalist party Svoboda—won 101, 40, and 37 seats, respectively. Four other parties divided up the remaining 7 seats, and 5 seats remained vacant. The Central Election Commission denied the appeal of opposition groups, who had demanded a recount in 13 districts, and called for a revote (rather than a recount) in 5 districts. The three opposition groups released a joint statement calling the elections “un-democratic, unfair and non-transparent,” but also heralding them as “an important stage towards the overthrow of the criminal regime of Yanukovych.” International observers criticized the conduct of the elections.

Vanuatu: In October 30 elections for the 52-seat Parliament, the Party of Our Land of former prime minister Edward Natapei won 8 seats. Incumbent prime minister Sato Kilman’s People’s Progressive Party won 6 seats and the Union of Moderate Parties won 5, while the Land and Justice Party and the National Unity Party each won 4. Twelve other parties divided up 21 seats, and independents won the remaining 4 seats. Kilman remained prime minister with the support of 29 MPs.

Venezuela: In an October 7 election for president, incumbent Hugo Chávez of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela won 55 percent of the vote, defeating former Miranda governor Henrique Capriles Radonski of the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable, who won 44 percent. While praising the lack of election-day fraud, Capriles criticized Chávez’s use of state resources in the campaign in what he called a “dirty war.” [End Page 181]

Upcoming Elections

(January–December 2013)

Albania: parliamentary, by 23 June 2013

Argentina: legislative, October 2013

Armenia: presidential, 18 February 2013

Azerbaijan: presidential, 16 October 2013

Barbados: parliamentary, January 2013

Bhutan: parliamentary, by June 2013

Bulgaria: parliamentary, by September 2013

Cambodia: parliamentary, July 2013

Chile: presidential/legislative, December 2013

Djibouti: legislative, 22 February 2013

Ecuador: presidential/legislative, 17 February 2013

Equatorial Guinea: parliamentary, by July 2013

Georgia: presidential, October 2013

Honduras: presidential/legislative, November 2013

Iran: presidential, 14 June 2013

Jordan: parliamentary, 23 January 2013

Kenya: presidential/parliamentary, 4 March 2013

Lebanon: parliamentary, June 2013

Madagascar: presidential, 8 May 2013; legislative, 3 July 2013

Malaysia: parliamentary, by April 2013

Maldives: presidential, by October 2013

Mongolia: presidential, May 2013

Montenegro: presidential, April 2013

Pakistan: parliamentary, May 2013

Paraguay: presidential/legislative, 21 April 2013

Philippines: legislative, 13 May 2013

Rwanda: legislative, September 2013

Tajikistan: presidential, November 2013

Tunisia: presidential/parliamentary, 23 June 2013 [End Page 182]


Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in developing nations and the postcommunist world. Some of the data for Election Watch come from 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, visit www.ifes.org.