Election Watch

Issue Date April 1998
Volume 9
Issue 2
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ELECTION RESULTS (December 1997-March 1998)

Armenia: After the resignation of President Levon Ter-Petrosian on February 3, a new presidential election was scheduled for March 16. Results will be published in a future issue.

Chile: In December 11 elections for the 120-seat Chamber of Deputies, President Eduardo Frei’s Coalition of Parties for Democracy (Concertación), which includes the Christian Democratic Party, the Party for Democracy, and the Socialist Party, garnered 50.6 percent of the vote and now holds 70 seats. The opposition Union for the Progress of Chile (UPC), a rightist coalition including the National Renovation and the Independent Democratic Union, came in second with 36.2 percent of the vote and now has 47 seats in the lower house. In voting for 20 seats in the Senate (which has a total of 38 elected and 8 appointed seats), the Concertación won 11 seats to bring its total of elected senators to 20. The UPC won 9 and now holds 17 elected senate seats. One in six Chilean adults did not register to vote. Of those who did, 86 percent cast their ballots, a turnout considered low in a country where voting is mandatory for those who register. Eighteen percent of the ballots cast were spoiled or left blank.

Colombia: Legislative elections were scheduled for March 8. Results will be published in a future issue.

Costa Rica: In presidential voting on February 1, opposition candidate Miguel Angel Rodríguez of the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) won 46.9 percent of the vote, defeating José Miguel Corrales of the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN), who won 44.4 percent. According to preliminary results of elections to the 57-seat Legislative Assembly held the same day, the PUSC won 41 percent of the vote and 29 seats, the PLN won 34 percent and 22 seats, and four smaller parties split the remaining 6 seats.

Djibouti: Of the four parties allowed to contend in December 19 parliamentary elections, a coalition consisting of Hassan Gouled Aptidon’s Popular Rally for Progress and the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy came in first, winning 78.6 percent and all 65 seats in the National Assembly. The Party of Democratic Renewal and the National Democratic Party finished second (19.2 percent) and third (2.3 percent), respectively. Turnout was reportedly low.

Guyana: In parliamentary elections held on December 15, the Progressive Party/Civic led by Janet Jagan, the widow of recently deceased President Cheddi Jagan, won 55.3 percent of the vote and 29 of the 53 National Assembly seats at stake. Desmond Hoyte’s People’s National Congress took 40.6 percent and 22 seats. One seat each went to the United Force and the Alliance for Guyana. The National Assembly chose Janet Jagan as president, but Desmond Hoyte refused to accept the election results, launching a judicial challenge to her presidency.

Honduras: In November 30 elections for the 128-seat National Assembly, the Liberal Party came in first with 49.7 percent of the vote (67 seats), and the National Party second with 41.3 percent (55 seats). Three smaller parties split the remaining 6 seats.

India: Balloting for the 545-seat Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament) began on February 16 and stretched into early March. As the Journal went to press, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies had won 253 seats, the Congress Party and its allies had won 167, and the United Front coalition had won 98, while minor parties and independents had taken 21 seats. Six seats remained unfilled as the BJP began efforts to form a stable governing coalition.

Jamaica: In December 18 parliamentary elections, P. J. Patterson’s People’s National Party won 50 seats in the 60-seat House of Representatives, defeating Edward Seaga’s Jamaica Labour Party, which took the remaining 10. Patterson was sworn in for his second term as prime minister on December 30. Turnout was approximately 59 percent.

Kenya: On December 29, President Daniel arap Moi was reelected to a fifth term with 41 percent of the vote. In elections for 210 seats in the National Assembly held the same day, his party, the Kenyan African National Union, won 107 seats. For complete results, see the article by Joel D. Barkan and Njuguna Ng’ethe on pp. 32-48 above.

Lithuania: In first-round presidential elections on December 21, Arturas Paulauskas won 44.7 percent of the vote, Valdas Adamkus trailed with 27.6 percent, and Vytautas Landsbergis came in third with 15.7 percent. In the January 4 runoff, Adamkus emerged with 50.4 percent of the vote, narrowly defeating Paulauskas, who received 49.6 percent.

Mauritania: On December 12, incumbent Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya of the Democratic and Social Republican Party captured 90.2 percent of the vote in a presidential election that was boycotted by the main opposition parties but drew a turnout of 74 percent.

Moldova: Results of parliamentary elections set for March 22 will be reported in a future issue.

Seychelles: Presidential elections were scheduled for March 20 and legislative elections for March 22. Results will be published in a future issue.

South Korea: Kim Dae Jung of the National Congress for New Politics won December 18 presidential elections with 40.3 percent of the vote, Lee Hoi Chang of the Grand National Party won 38.7 percent, and Rhee In Je of the New Party by the People took 19.2 percent. See the article by David I. Steinberg on pp. 76-90 above.

Ukraine: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for March 28. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Yugoslavia (Serbia): After no candidate won the required 51 percent in the September 21 presidential election, and turnout in the October 5 runoff fell below the necessary 50 percent, an entirely new election was held on December 7, but once again no candidate won the required 51 percent. In a December 21 runoff, Milan MilutinoviÇ of Slobodan Milo‰eviÇ’s Socialist Party of Serbia won 59.2 percent of the vote, defeating Vojislav ·e‰elj of the Serbian Radical Party, who took 37.6 percent. Turnout was 50.5 percent. For a summary of results from earlier rounds, see “Election Watch” in our January 1998 issue.

Upcoming Elections (April 1998-March 1999)

Azerbaijan: parliamentary, November 1998

Belize: parliamentary, June 1998

Brazil: presidential, 3 October 1998

Cambodia: parliamentary, 26 July 1998

Colombia: presidential, 31 May 1998

Czech Republic: parliamentary, June 1998

Dominican Republic: legislative, 16 May 1998

Ecuador: presidential, 31 May 1998

Equatorial Guinea: parliamentary, July 1998

Gabon: presidential, December 1998

Hong Kong: legislative council, 24 May 1998

Hungary: parliamentary, 10 May 1998

Latvia: parliamentary, 3-4 October 1998

Lesotho: parliamentary, 23 May 1998

Macedonia: parliamentary, October 1998 (latest)

Nigeria: legislative, 25 April 1998; presidential, 29 August 1998

Paraguay: presidential/legislative, 10 May 1998

Philippines: presidential/legislative, 11 May 1998

Senegal: parliamentary, 24 May 1998

Slovakia: parliamentary, 25-26 September 1998

Togo: presidential, June 1998

Venezuela: presidential/legislative, 6 December 1998

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in postcommunist and developing countries. 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.