Election Watch

Issue Date April 2004
Volume 15
Issue 2
Page Numbers 177-79
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(December 2003-March 2004)

El Salvador: A presidential election was scheduled for March 21. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Georgia: In a presidential election held on January 4, Mikheil Saakashvili of the New National Movement, running virtually unopposed, won with 96.2 percent. For more information on this election, see Charles H. Fairbanks, Jr.’s article on pp. 110-24 of this issue. Parliamentary elections were scheduled for March 28; results will be reported in a future issue.

Guatemala: In the December 28 presidential runoff, Óscar Berger of the Grand National Alliance captured 54 percent, defeating Álvaro Colom Caballeros of the National Unity for Hope. Turnout was less than 47 percent, compared to 58 percent in the November 9 first round.

Guinea: In the December 21 presidential election, Lansana Conté of the Party for Unity and Progress, who first came to power through a coup d’état in 1984, won 96 percent of the votes cast. Most opposition parties—their candidates already ruled ineligible—boycotted the poll. The results were announced amid accusations of electoral fraud and vote-rigging. In late 2001, the constitution was amended to allow Conté to serve a third elected term, and to extend the length of the presidential mandate from five to seven years.

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

Iran: On February 20, candidates considered sympathetic to Iran’s hard-line rulers took 156 places in the 290-seat parliament, which had been controlled by reformist lawmakers since their landslide win four years ago. [End Page 177] Reformists won just 39 seats; many chose to boycott the vote after the hard-line Guardian Council banned more than 2,400 candidates from running. Independent candidates took 31 seats, and 5 were reserved for religious minorities. Remaining seats are to be contested in a second round, which will most certainly add to the conservative majority. The elections were widely regarded as neither free nor fair, and voter turnout fell to just above 50 percent, its lowest level since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

Russia: In December 7 elections for the 450-seat Duma, the United Russia party created by President Vladimir Putin garnered 222 seats. The Communists won 51 seats, the Motherland Party won 37, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s ultranationalist Liberal Democrats won 36 seats. The two Western-oriented parties, Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces, both failed to meet the 5 percent threshold. Turnout was 56 percent. International observers cited the excessive use of administrative and mass-media resources to favor the United Russia party, and said that the elections signaled democratic regression. Presidential balloting was set for March 14; results will be reported in a future issue.

Serbia: In parliamentary elections held on December 28, the nationalist Serbian Radical Party (led by indicted war criminal Vojislav Seselj) won 82 of 250 seats. Former Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia won 53 seats; the Democratic Party of the late Serbian prime minister Zoran Djindjic, 37 seats; and the G17 Plus party, 34 seats. Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbian Socialist Party and the Serbia Renewal Movement-New Serbia coalition garnered 22 seats each. International observers said that the elections were conducted in line with international standards.

Taiwan: Presidential balloting was set for March 20. Results will be reported in a future issue.

(April 2004-March 2005)

Afghanistan: presidential, June 2004 (tentative)

Algeria: presidential, April 2004

Belarus: parliamentary, October 2004

Bosnia and Herzegovina: parliamentary, November 2004

Botswana: legislative, October 2004

Czech Republic: parliamentary (senate), November 2004

Dominican Republic: presidential, 16 May 2004

Ghana: presidential and legislative, December 2004 [End Page 178]

Haiti: parliamentary, May 2004 (tentative)

India: parliamentary, October 2004

Indonesia: legislative, 5 April 2004; presidential, 5 July 2004

Kyrgyzstan: parliamentary, February 2005

Lebanon: parliamentary, August 2004

Lithuania: parliamentary, October 2004

Macedonia: presidential, October 2004

Malawi: presidential and legislative, 18 May 2004

Malaysia: parliamentary, 20 December 2004

Maldives: legislative, November 2004

Mauritius: parliamentary, September 2004

Mozambique: presidential and parliamentary, December 2004

Namibia: presidential and parliamentary, November 2004

Niger: presidential and legislative, October 2004

Panama: presidential and legislative, 2 May 2004

Philippines: presidential and legislative, 16 May 2004

Romania: presidential and parliamentary, November 2004

Senegal: presidential, 27 February 2005

Slovakia: presidential, 3 April 2004

Slovenia: parliamentary, October 2004

South Africa: parliamentary, 14 April 2004

South Korea: parliamentary, April 2004

Sri Lanka: parliamentary, 2 April 2004

Sudan: legislative, December 2004

Taiwan: parliamentary, December 2004

Thailand: parliamentary, March 2005

Tunisia: presidential and parliamentary, October 2004

Ukraine: presidential, October 2004

Uruguay: presidential and legislative, 31 October 2004

Uzbekistan: parliamentary, December 2004

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. Some of the data for Election Watch come from 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, visit www.ifes.org.