Election Watch

Issue Date Summer 1991
Volume 2
Issue 3
Page Numbers 115-17
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ELECTION RESULTS (March 1991-June 1991)

Albania: On March 31, Albania held its first multiparty elections in 68 years. The Communist Party of Labor retained control of the People’s Assembly by winning 162 of the 250 seats, while the opposition Democratic Party won 65 seats. International observers said that the elections fell short of being free and fair due to widespread intimidation against the opposition party at the polls.

Benin: On March 10, the first presidential election in two decades was held in Benin. Because none of the candidates earned a majority of the vote, a runoff election was held on March 24. According to official results, Prime Minister Nicéphore Soglo beat President Mathieu K6r6kou by a 2-to-1 margin.

India: India’s 10th national election for its parliament began as scheduled on May 20. Following the assassination of Congress Party leader Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, however, the remaining voting days were postponed until June 12 and 15. Preliminary results indicate that the Congress Party has gained a plurality but not a majority of seats.

Nepal: Nepal held its first fully democratic legislative elections in 30 years on May 12. The Nepali Congress Party won 110 of the 250 seats in the House of Representatives. The Communist Party of Nepal earned 69 seats, with five smaller parties and four independents accounting for the rest.

Suriname: In legislative elections on May 25 the New Front for Democracy and Development, the party that has traditionally dominated [End Page 115] Suriname’s politics, won 29 of the 51 seats. A new party, Democratic Alternative ’91, won 9 seats, and the National Democratic Party, a group with close ties to the military, won 13.

USSR: On June 12, Russia held the first direct presidential election in its 1,000-year history. Preliminary results indicate that Boris Yeltsin captured the republic’s presidency with approximately 60 percent of the vote, soundly defeating Communist candidates Nikolai Ryzhkov and Vadim Bakatin. Earlier, on May 26, Zviad Gamsakhurdia was elected president of Georgia with 87 percent of the vote.

Western Samoa: In elections for the Legislative Assembly on April 5, the ruling Human Rights Protection Party won 26 seats, the Samoa National Development Party 18 seats, and independents 3 seats in the 47-seat parliament. This was the first election in which all of those 21 or older were eligible to vote; previously, only family heads (Matai) had been eligible.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (July 1991-June 1992)

Algeria: parliamentary, scheduled for 27 June 1991 but postponed indefinitely

Angola: general, May 1992*

Bahamas: parliamentary, June 1992*

Bangladesh: presidential, October 1991*

Bulgaria: legislative, mid-September 1991*

Burkina Faso: parliamentary/presidential, December 1991*

Guyana: presidential/legislative,, summer/fall 1991*

Hong Kong: legislative, September 1991*

Liberia: presidential, 15 October 1991

Mali: presidential, December 1991*

Malta: parliamentary, 1 May 1992 [End Page 116]

Mexico: legislative, 18 August 1991

Mozambique: parliamentary/presidential, spring 1992*

Papua New Guinea: parliamentary, 1 June 1992

Philippines: presidential/legislative, 1 May 1992

Poland: parliamentary, October 1991*

St. Lucia: parliamentary, 1 April 1992

Trinidad and Tobago: parliamentary, March 1992*

Vanuatu: parliamentary, by December 1991

Zaire: presidential, December 1991*

Zambia: parliamentary/presidential, October 1991

* tentative

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in developing nations and the communist 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. 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 117]