Documents on Democracy

Issue Date October 2000
Volume 11
Issue 4
Page Numbers 183-87
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ELECTION RESULTS (June-September 2000)

Ethiopia: Elections to the Council of People’s Representatives, the lower house of the Ethiopian Parliament, were held on May 14. News reports indicated that the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front won 472 of 522 seats. Opposition parties complained of harassment and lack of media access.

Haiti: In three rounds of legislative elections, held on May 21, July 9, and July 30, the Lavalas Family party of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide secured overwhelming majorities in both the 27-member Senate and the 83-seat Chamber of Deputies. The Organization of American States and a number of foreign governments called for reballoting in light of the many voting and counting irregularities.

Lebanon: Elections to the unicameral National Assembly were held in two rounds, on August 27 and September 3. Preliminary results gave the coalition backing former prime minister Rafiq Hariri a plurality, with 43 of the 128 seats. Hariri’s strong showing was regarded as a setback for President Emile Lahoud, who had replaced Hariri with Salim Hoss as prime minister in 1998. Hoss failed to retain his seat in the Assembly.

Mauritius: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for September 11. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Mexico: On July 2, almost 65 percent of Mexico’s nearly 60 million voters took part in an election that marked the first time in 71 years that the presidency has passed from one political party to another. Vicente Fox of the National Action Party (PAN) won the presidential race with 43.4 percent of the vote, defeating Francisco Labastida of the ruling [End Page 179] Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who gained 36.9 percent. Cuáuh-témoc Cárdenas of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) finished third with 17 percent. In the 500-seat Chamber of Deputies, the Alliance for Change, composed of the PAN and the Mexican Green Ecologist Party, won 224 seats; the PRI, 208; and the Alliance for Mexico (the PRD and several smaller parties), 68. In the balloting for the 128 seats in the Senate, the PRI maintained a slim plurality, winning 58 seats, down from 77 in the previous chamber. The Alliance for Change won 53 seats, and the Alliance for Mexico finished with 17.

Mongolia: More than 80 percent of the country’s 1.2 million registered voters took part in July 2 elections to the unicameral parliament. In a dramatic turnaround from the 1996 elections, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (the communist party that had ruled the country from 1924 to 1990) won 72 of the 76 seats, up from 25 in the previous parliament. The governing Democratic Union (a coalition of 50 parties including the Mongolian National Democratic Party, the Mongolian Social Democratic Party, the Mongolian Religious Democratic Party, and the Mongolian Greens Party) fell from 50 seats to just 1. Independents took the remaining 3 seats.

Paraguay: In an unusual separate election for the post of vice president, Julio César Franco of the opposition Liberal Party narrowly defeated Colorado Party candidate Félix Argaña, 47.8 percent to 47.0 percent. The election was called to fill the post left vacant by the assassination in March 1999 of Vice President Luis Maria Argaña, father of the defeated candidate. This marks the first time since 1939 that the Colorado Party has lost a race for the national executive.

Venezuela: Presidential and parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for May 28, were held on July 30, with more than 56 percent of the electorate participating. Incumbent president Hugo Chávez won a new six-year term with 57 percent of the vote; his nearest competitor, Francisco Arías Cárdenas, finished with 35.7 percent. In elections to the new 165-member unicameral National Assembly, the pro-Chávez Patriotic Pole (comprising the Movement for the Fifth Republic and the Movement for Socialism) won a majority with 99 seats. The opposition Democratic Action captured 32 seats, and smaller parties won the rest.

Yugoslavia: Presidential and parliamentary elections were scheduled for September 24. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Zimbabwe: In June 24-25 elections for 120 of the 150 seats in the House of Assembly, President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National [End Page 180] Union-Patriotic Front won only 62 seats, down from 117. The recently formed opposition Movement for Democratic Change gained 57. Of the remaining 31 seats, 1 went to an independent, and 30 will be appointed by Mugabe and his allies, thus guaranteeing the ruling coalition a majority in parliament. More than 3 million of the country’s 5.1 million registered voters took part. International observers voiced serious concerns about pre-election violence and intimidation by progovernment forces.

(October 2000-September 2001)

Albania: parliamentary, June 2001

Azerbaijan: parliamentary, 5 November 2000 (latest)

Belarus: parliamentary, 15 October 2000

Benin: presidential, March 2001

Bosnia-Herzegovina: parliamentary, 11 November 2000

Cape Verde: presidential/parliamentary, February 2001

Côte d’Ivoire: presidential, 22 October 2000; parliamentary, 29 October 2000

Egypt: parliamentary, 18 October, 29 October, and 8 November 2000

Ghana: presidential/legislative, 7 December 2000

Guinea: parliamentary, October 2000

Haiti: presidential, 26 November 2000

Iran: presidential, May 2001

Kyrgyzstan: presidential, 29 October 2000

Lesotho: parliamentary, March 2001

Lithuania: parliamentary, 8 October 2000

Moldova: presidential, 3 December 2000

Philippines: legislative, 11 May 2001

Poland: presidential, 8 October 2000; parliamentary, September 2001 (latest)

Romania: presidential/parliamentary, 26 November 2000

Sierra Leone: presidential, February 2001 (latest); parliamentary, June 2001 (latest) [End Page 181]

Slovenia: parliamentary, 15 October 2000

Solomon Islands: parliamentary, September 2001

Sri Lanka: parliamentary, 10 October 2000

Sudan: presidential/legislative, October 2000 (estimated)

Tanzania: presidential/parliamentary, 28 October 2000

Thailand: parliamentary (lower house), November 2000

Trinidad and Tobago: parliamentary, January 2001 (latest)

Uganda: presidential/legislative, July 2001 (latest)

Yemen: parliamentary, April 2001

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in developing nations and the postcommunist 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. Much of the data for Election Watch is provided by the International Foundation for Election 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, 1101 15th Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005; 202-828-8507;