Election Watch

Election Results—March 2024


Incumbent president Ilham Aliyev of the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) won a fifth term in the February 7 snap presidential election, with 92.1 percent of the vote. Six other candidates split the remaining vote share. Aliyev called the snap election shortly after the country recaptured the Nagorno-Karabakh region from Armenia, moving up the vote originally scheduled for October 2025. International observers questioned whether the election was free and fair, citing “indications of ballot box stuffing” and a lack of safeguards against multiple voting. Two main opposition parties, Musavat and the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, boycotted the balloting, but turnout was still strong at 76.4 percent.


In February 25 elections for the 110-seat Chamber of Representatives, only parties loyal to President Alyaksandr Lukashenka were officially registered and allowed to run. The Belaya Rus party emerged on top with 51 seats. The Party of Labor and Justice won 8; the Communist Party, 7; the Liberal Democratic Party, 4; and independents, the remaining share. The outcome has cemented Lukashenka’s thirty-year rule, though opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has dismissed it as a “senseless farce.” Turnout was 73.5 percent, but Belarusians living abroad were denied the right to vote.


In the February 11 presidential runoff, conservative former prime minister Alexander Stubb of the National Coalition Party won with 51.6 percent of the vote. His opponent, the liberal Green Party candidate Pekka Haavisto, received 48.4 percent of the vote. This was the country’s first election since joining NATO. Voter turnout was 67.6 percent.


General elections were held on February 14, and turnout was around 85 percent. In the presidential contest, with nearly 80 percent of the votes counted, the defense minister and former general Prabowo Subianto of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) won with 58.8 percent of the vote. Anies Baswedan, running as an independent, came in second with 24.5 percent, and Ganjar Pranowo of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) came in third with 16.7 percent.

At stake in the legislative contest were all 580 seats in the House of Representatives and all 152 seats in the Regional Representative Council. With just over 65 percent of the votes counted, the PDI-P led with 16.4 percent of the vote. Golkar followed with 15.1 percent; Gerindra, with 13.3 percent; and the National Awakening Party (PKB), with 11.5 percent. Fourteen other parties split the remainder.


Elections were held on March 1 for the 290-seat Islamic Consultative Assembly and the 88-seat Assembly of Experts, a body of Islamic scholars that selects the country’s supreme leader. Voters decided 245 parliamentary seats in the first round (the remaining 45 will go to a runoff in the late spring); 200 went to hardline-conservative political parties. The Guardian Council, which oversees elections and legislation, barred a number of reformist and moderate politicians, including former president Hassan Rouhani, from running in the first general election since the uprisings over the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini. Many Iranians boycotted the vote, and at just under 41 percent, turnout was the lowest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.


Elections were held on February 8 for 265 of the 336 seats in the National Assembly, the lower house of the bicameral parliament. Independents won 101 seats; approximately 92 of those independents were affiliated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) won 75 seats; the Pakistan People’s Party of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari won 54; and smaller parties captured 35. The election was marred by violence, with 28 people killed in incidents across the country. No party won the necessary 169 seats to form a majority government on its own, but Sharif, backed by the PTI-affiliated legislators, was elected to a second term as prime minister on March 3. Turnout was 47.6 percent.


In March 10 snap parliamentary elections, the center-right Democratic Alliance won 79 seats, barely edging out the incumbent center-left Socialist Party, which obtained 77. Most significantly, the young far-right populist party Chega won 48 seats (a gain of 36), poising it to be kingmaker and marking the continued rise of the far-right in Europe. The snap election was triggered when Socialist prime minister António Costa resigned in November 2023 after his official residence was raided amid a wide-ranging corruption investigation. Turnout was over 50 percent.


In the March 15–17 presidential election, Vladimir Putin won a fifth term and six more years in office with more than 87 percent of the vote against four little-known, Kremlin-approved opponents in a stage-managed, preordained contest. The autocrat has led the country since 1999, either as president or prime minister. Turnout was 77 percent. For more on what Putin gained and may still have to lose, read Margarita Zavadskaya’s new essay “Why Does the Kremlin Bother Holding Sham Elections?


In by-elections on February 3, the ruling ZANU-PF of President Emmanuel Mnangagwa swept in all six constituencies formerly held by the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). With this win, ZANU-PF now holds 190 of the 280 seats in Parliament, giving it the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution and potentially extend or remove presidential term limits. By-elections were triggered after the general elections in August 2023, when the CCC’s interim secretary-general, Sengezo Tshabangu, forced a recall of some of the party’s legislators. The country’s electoral commission reported low turnout.