Election Watch

Issue Date October 2021
Volume 32
Issue 4
Page Numbers 181–83
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ELECTION RESULTS (July–September 2021)

Armenia: Snap parliamentary elections were held for the 101-seat National Assembly on June 20. Civic Contract, the party of incumbent prime minister Nikol Pashinian, won 54 percent of the vote and 71 seats. The Armenia Alliance captured 21.1 percent and 29 seats, while the I Have Honor Alliance obtained 5.2 percent and 7 seats. Turnout was 49.4 percent.

Ethiopia: Elections for 425 of the 547 seats of the federal parliament, delayed twice since August 2020, were held on June 21. According to preliminary results released by July 10, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party won 410 of these seats. Of the remaining fifteen seats, the National Movement of Amhara won 5; the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice and Democracy party won 4; the Gedeo Democratic Organization won 2; and independents won 4. Members of several opposition parties were arrested in the run-up to the polls, leading some political parties to boycott the race. No balloting was conducted for approximately 82 seats due to security concerns and logistical challenges. Polls for some of these have been rescheduled for September 30. Elections were also not held for the 38 seats representing the Tigray region, the epicenter of a devastating civil war since November 2020. Observers report that the polls were mostly peaceful. Turnout was 90 percent.

Iran: Former chief justice Ebrahim Raisi won the June 18 presidential election with 72.4 percent of the vote. Former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Mohsen Rezai won 13.8 percent, while Central Bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati won 9.8 percent. About 13 percent of the ballots cast were blank or void. Turnout was 42 percent, a drop of roughly 31 percentage points from the 2017 presidential race.

Mexico: In the June 6 elections for the 500-seat lower house of Congress, the National Regeneration Movement, led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, won 198 seats, losing its outright majority, and saw its proportional vote share decrease by 3.2 percentage points from 2018 to 34.1 percent. It will retain a majority with support from smaller parties. The National Action Party (PAN) won 18.2 percent and 114 seats, and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won 17.7 percent and 70 seats. Smaller parties won the remaining 118 seats. Turnout was 51 percent. For more on Mexico’s elections, see the essay by Mariano Sánchez-Talanquer and Kenneth F. Greene on pp. 56–71.

Moldova: In July 11 snap parliamentary elections for the 101-seat Parliament, the Action and Solidarity Party (PAS)—which was led by Maia Sandu until she assumed the presidency in 2020—won 52.8 percent of the vote and 63 seats. The pro-Russian Electoral Bloc of Communists and Socialists captured 27.2 percent and 32 seats while the Şor Party won 5.7 percent and 6 seats. Turnout was 48 percent.

Morocco: In September 8 parliamentary elections for the 395-seat House of Representatives, the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) of Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani won only 13 seats, a drop of 112 seats from 2016. The liberal National Rally of Independents (RNI) captured 102 seats; the royalist Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) won 87 seats; the nationalist Independence Party (Istiqlal) won 81 seats; and smaller parties won the remaining 112 seats. Turnout was 50.4 percent. After the balloting, King Mohammed VI appointed Aziz Akhannouch of the RNI as prime minister.

Russia: Elections for the 450-seat State Duma were held on September 17–19. President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party won 49.8 percent of the vote and 324 seats. This represents a drop of 4.4 percentage points and 19 seats from the party’s 2016 showing. Pro-Putin opposition parties and five independent candidates won the remaining 126 seats. Several members of the opposition, including anticorruption activist Alexei Navalny and his allies, were barred from participating, and there were numerous reports of fraud and ballot stuffing. For the first time since 1993, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe election monitors were not present due to restrictions from the Russian government. Turnout was 51.7 percent.

Zambia: In the August 12 presidential race, Haikande Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) won 57.9 percent of the vote, denying incumbent Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front (PF), who captured 37.3 percent, a third term. Media say that during the campaign period, covid-19 protocols were used as a pretext to restrict opposition-party activities, and UPND polling agents were attacked and “chased out” of voting places on election day. In concurrent balloting for the 158 elected seats of the National Assembly (11 other seats are not contested), the UPND won 82 seats, a majority. The PF won 59 seats; the Party for Unity and National Progress won one seat; and independents picked up the remaining 13 seats. Turnout for the presidential race was 69 percent.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (November–December 2021)

Haiti: presidential/parliamentary, 7 November 2021

Nicaragua: presidential/legislative, 7 November 2021

Argentina: legislative, 14 November 2021

Bulgaria: parliamentary, 14 November 2021

Chile: presidential/legislative, 21 November 2021

Gambia: presidential, 4 December 2021

Hong Kong: legislative, 19 December 2021

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.


Copyright © 2021 National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press