Election Watch

Issue Date January 2014
Volume 25
Issue 1
Page Numbers 174-178
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ELECTION RESULTS (September-December 2013)

Argentina: In October 27 elections for 127 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s Peronist Front for Victory (FPV) and its allies won 33 percent of the vote and 47 seats; the Radical Civic Union (UCR) and its allies won 24 percent and 36 seats; an alliance of non-FPV Peronist parties led by Tigre mayor Sergio Massa’s Renewal Front (FR) won 25 percent and 26 seats; and the Republican Proposal (PRO) party and its allies won 7 percent and 10 seats. Leftist and other parties won the remaining 8 seats. In elections held concurrently for 24 seats in the 72-seat Senate, the FPV won 39 percent of the vote and 14 seats. PRO and its allies won 18 percent and 3 seats, and UCR and its allies won 16 percent and 3 seats. Other parties won 4 seats, including 1 for an ally of the FR.

Azerbaijan: According to official results of the October 9 presidential election, incumbent Ilham Aliyev of the New Azerbaijan Party won with 85 percent of the vote. Jamil Hasanli of the National Council of Democratic Forces received 6 percent of the vote, and eight other candidates split the remaining votes. According to OSCE observers, the election was marred by ballot stuffing, inaccurate vote tabulation, and political repression that tilted the playing field in Aliyev’s favor. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe observers offered a more positive assessment, calling the elections “free, fair and transparent,” but noted deficiencies in “the respect of fundamental freedoms during the months before the election.”

Cameroon: In September 30 elections for the 180-seat National Assembly, President Paul Biya’s Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement won 148 seats, and the opposition Social Democratic Front won 18. The National Union for Democracy and Progress, the Cameroonian Democratic [End Page 174] Union, and the Cameroon People’s Union won 5, 4, and 3 seats, respectively. Two other parties each won a single seat. Commonwealth observers characterized the elections as free and peaceful but noted that uneven access to funding and media coverage hindered the opposition.

Chile: In the November 17 presidential election, former president Michelle Bachelet of the Socialist Party of Chile (PS) won 47 percent of the vote, and Evelyn Matthei of the Independent Democratic Union won 25 percent, setting up a runoff scheduled for December 15. Former PS member Marco Enríquez-Ominami of the Progressive Party of Chile received 11 percent, and independent candidate Franco Parisi received 10 percent. Five other candidates split the remaining votes. In concurrent elections for 20 seats in the 38-seat Senate, Bachelet’s coalition, the New Majority, won 51 percent of the vote and 12 seats, and Matthei’s coalition, the Alliance, won 38 percent and 7 seats. An independent candidate won the remaining seat. In elections also held that day for the 120-seat Chamber of Deputies, the New Majority won 48 percent of the vote and 67 seats, and the Alliance won 36 percent and 49 seats. Independents and candidates from smaller parties won the remaining seats. Results of the presidential runoff will be reported in a future issue.

Czech Republic: In October 25-26 elections for the 200-member Chamber of Deputies, the Social Democrats won 20 percent of the vote and 50 seats. The recently formed ANO movement won 19 percent and 47 seats, and the Communists won 15 percent and 33 seats. Former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg’s Top 09 party and recently resigned prime minister Petr Neèas’s Civic Democrats—the two leading parties of the outgoing governing coalition—lost badly, winning 12 percent and 26 seats and 8 percent and 16 seats, respectively. The newly formed Dawn Party and the Christian Democrats each won 7 percent and 14 seats.

Georgia: In the October 27 presidential election, Giorgi Margvelashvili of then-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition won with 62 percent of the vote. Davit Bakradze of outgoing president Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement won 22 percent, and Nino Burjanadze of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia won 10 percent. Twenty other candidates split the remaining votes. For further analysis by Charles H. Fairbanks, Jr., see pp. 154-65 above.

Guinea: In September 28 elections for the 114-seat National Assembly, President Alpha Condé’s Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) won 53 seats, and its allies won an additional 7. Former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo’s Union for the Democratic Forces of Guinea won 37, and other opposition parties split the remaining 17. International election observers issued a joint statement criticizing the elections and citing [End Page 175] many “breaches and irregularities.” Despite calls by opposition leaders for nullification, the Supreme Court upheld the results.

Honduras: In the November 24 presidential election, Juan Hernández of the National Party (PN) won with 37 percent of the vote. Freedom and Refoundation Party (LIBRE) candidate Xiomara Castro—wife of former president Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted by the military in 2009—won 29 percent. Mauricio Villeda of the Liberal Party (PL) won 20 percent, and Salvador Nasralla of the Anticorruption Party (PAC) won 13 percent. Castro alleged fraud, and thousands of her supporters took to the streets for a peaceful protest march. In response to her petition, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal agreed to conduct a recount. In concurrent elections for the 128-seat National Congress, preliminary results showed that the PN won 47 seats, LIBRE won 39, the PL won 26, and the PAC won 13. Several smaller parties won the remaining seats. Final results were expected later in December.

Madagascar: In the October 25 presidential election, Jean-Louis Robinson—a former health minister allied with Marc Ravalomanana, the exiled former president who resigned in 2009 under military pressure—won 21 percent of the vote. Hery Rajaonarimampianina—a former finance minister allied with incumbent Andry Rajoelina, who took power upon Ravalomanana’s ouster—won 16 percent, setting up a runoff election. thirty-nine other candidates split the remaining votes, with none exceeding 11 percent. The runoff was scheduled for December 20, with parliamentary elections to be held concurrently; results will be reported in a future issue.

Maldives: In the November 9 presidential election, Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic Party won 47 percent of the vote, setting up a runoff with the Progressive Party’s Abdulla Yameen, who won 30 percent. The Republican Party’s Qasim Ibrahim, a former finance minister, won 23 percent of the vote before endorsing Yameen in the runoff. In the November 16 runoff, Yameen, whose half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom held the presidency for thirty years, won with 51 percent, completing a process that had experienced many delays. A prior first-round election had been held on September 7 but was nullified by the Supreme Court. Then, police scuttled an attempt to hold a new election on October 19 by surrounding the electoral commission. The runoff—scheduled for November 10—was delayed that morning by the Supreme Court. After the election, Nasheed pledged to “adhere to democratic principles” and to oppose the government but not seek its overthrow.

Mali: Elections for the 147-seat Parliament were held on November 24, but few candidates won a majority in their districts. Runoff elections were scheduled for December 15; results will be reported in a future issue. [End Page 176]

Mauritania: In November 23 elections for the 147-seat National Assembly, President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz’s Union for the Republic (UPR) won 21 percent of the vote and 56 seats. Smaller parties allied with the UPR won 34 seats. Islamist opposition party Tawassoul—the only group in the eleven-party Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD) to participate in the elections—won 14 percent and 12 seats. Other opposition parties won 19 seats. The remaining 26 seats will be decided in second-round elections, which were originally scheduled for December 7 but postponed to December 21.

Nepal: In November 19 elections for the 575 popularly elected seats of the Constituent Assembly, the Nepali Congress won 27 percent of the vote and 196 seats, and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) won 25 percent and 175 seats. The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which had a plurality in the previous assembly, won 16 percent and 80 seats. The royalist National Democratic Party won 7 percent of the vote and 24 seats. Smaller parties split the remaining elected seats. The president will appoint an additional 26 members of the Assembly.

Rwanda: In September 16 elections for the 53 popularly elected seats in the House of Deputies, President Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) won 76 percent of the vote and 41 seats. The Social Democratic Party won 13 percent and 7 seats, and the Liberal Party won 9 percent and 5 seats. Both are RPF allies. The opposition PS-Imberakuri Party did not earn a seat.

Swaziland: In September 20 elections for the House of Assembly’s 55 popularly elected seats, only 9 incumbents retained their seats, and opposition leader Jan Sithole was one of 46 newcomers to be elected. African Union observers praised the country’s biometric voter-registration system and the peaceful conduct of elections but criticized the prohibition of political parties, noted the lack of female candidates, and raised concerns about the system of centralized vote tabulation.

Tajikistan: In the November 6 presidential election, incumbent Emomali Rahmon of the People’s Democratic Party won with 84 percent of the vote. None of the other five candidates received more than 5 percent. The opposition United Reformist Forces of Tajikistan boycotted the election after its candidate, Oinihol Bobonazarova, was eliminated from the race in October due to falling short of the number of signatures required to register. OSCE observers criticized the “restrictive candidate registration requirements,” the uneven playing field created by unequal access to state media, and the “significant shortcomings” on election day. [End Page 177]

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (January-December 2014)

Afghanistan: presidential, 5 April 2014

Algeria: presidential, April 2014

Bangladesh: parliamentary, 5 January 2014

Bolivia: presidential/parliamentary, 5 October 2014

Bosnia-Herzegovina: presidential/parliamentary, October 2014

Botswana: parliamentary, October 2014

Brazil: presidential/parliamentary, 5 October 2014

Colombia: legislative, 9 March 2014; presidential, 25 May 2014

Costa Rica: presidential/legislative, 2 February 2014

El Salvador: presidential, 2 February 2014

Hungary: parliamentary, by May 2014

India: parliamentary, by May 2014

Indonesia: parliamentary, 9 April 2014; presidential, 9 July 2014

Iraq: parliamentary, 30 April 2014

Liberia: parliamentary, 14 October 2014

Lithuania: presidential, May 2014

Macedonia: presidential, March 2014

Malawi: presidential/parliamentary, 20 May 2014

Maldives: parliamentary, 22 March 2014

Mozambique: presidential/parliamentary, 15 October 2014

Namibia: presidential/parliamentary, November 2014

Panama: presidential/legislative, 4 May 2014

Romania: presidential, by December 2014

Slovakia: presidential, by April 2014

Solomon Islands: parliamentary, August 2014

South Africa: parliamentary, by June 2014

Thailand: senate, March 2014

Turkey: presidential, August 2014

Uruguay: presidential/legislative, 26 October 2014

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. [End Page 178]