Election Watch

Issue Date April 2013
Volume 24
Issue 2
Page Numbers 177-180
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ELECTION RESULTS (January–March 2013)

Armenia: In the February 18 presidential election, incumbent Serzh Sarkisian of the Republican Party of Armenia defeated former foreign minister Raffi Hovanisian of the Heritage Party, 59 to 37 percent. Despite noting “a lack of impartiality of the public administration, misuse of administrative resources, and cases of pressure on voters,” an OSCE observer mission issued a largely positive preliminary statement, reporting that the “election was generally well-administered and was characterized by a respect for fundamental freedoms.” Hovanisian, however, called the election rigged, sparking protests that attracted thousands. After filing a number of complaints with the Central Electoral Commission, he pledged to launch a hunger strike to pressure Sarkisian to resign.

Barbados: In February 21 elections for the 30-seat House of Assembly, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s Democratic Labour Party won 51 percent of the vote and 16 seats. The Barbados Labour Party won 48 percent and the remaining 14 seats.

Czech Republic: Following a constitutional amendment last year, the presidency was determined by direct elections for the first time. In a runoff election held on January 25–26, former prime minister Miloš Zeman of the Party of Civic Rights defeated Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg of the recently formed TOP 09 party (Tradition, Responsibility, and Prosperity) with 55 percent of the vote. In the first round, held on January 11–12, Zeman had earned 24 percent of the vote; Schwarzenberg, 23 percent; independent candidate and former prime minister Jan Fischer, 16 percent; and Czech Social Democratic Party candidate Jiří Dienstbier, 16 percent. Five other candidates split the remaining 21 percent. [End Page 177]

Djibouti: In elections held February 22 for the 65-seat National Assembly, President Ismail Omar Guelleh’s Union for the Presidential Majority (UPM) won 61 percent of the vote and 43 seats. The Union for National Salvation (USN), a recently formed bloc of opposition parties that had boycotted the 2008 National Assembly elections and the 2011 presidential election, won 36 percent of the vote and 21 seats. The Center for Unified Democrats, a recently formed party, won 3 percent of the vote and 1 seat. When preliminary results were announced early the morning after the election, a spokesperson for the USN charged that the UPM had rigged the elections and called for demonstrations. The arrest of several opposition leaders charged with inciting violence sparked further demonstrations in the capital and clashes between protesters and police.

Ecuador: In the February 17 presidential election, incumbent Rafael Correa of the Alianza País (AP) won with 57 percent of the vote. Guillermo Lasso of the CREO Movement won 23 percent, and former president Lucio Gutiérrez of the January 21 Patriotic Society Party (PSP) won 7 percent. No other candidate won more than 4 percent. In elections held the same day for the 137-member National Assembly, the AP won 52 percent and 91 seats, while CREO won 11 percent and 12 seats. The Social Christian Party won 9 percent; the PSP, 6 percent; and the Multinational Union of the Left, 5 percent. Each won 6 seats. Smaller parties split the remaining 16 seats.

Ghana: In December 7 parliamentary elections, the National Democratic Party of John Dramani Mahama, who was elected president in a concurrent election (covered in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of Democracy), won 148 seats, and the New Patriotic Party won 123. Independents won 3 seats, and the People’s National Convention won 1.

Jordan: Elections held on January 23 for the 150-seat House of Representatives were governed by a new electoral law allotting 27 seats to national closed party lists and 108 seats to winners of district elections, with an additional 15 seats set aside for women. For the 27 seats determined by party lists, the Islamic Centrist Party won 3 seats, and the Homeland and Stronger Jordan parties won 2 seats each. Twenty other parties won single seats. Following the elections, members of the House clustered into political blocs. The two largest blocs—Homeland and the Democratic Assembly for Reform—comprised 27 and 24 members, respectively. The Future bloc included 18 members and the Free Promise bloc attracted 17 (including six of the House’s eighteen women), while Al-Wefaq and the Islamic Centrist Party included 15 each. The National Union and New Approach blocs enlisted 10 and 8 members, respectively. Fifteen members remained independent, including the speaker of the house, Saad Hayel Al-Srour. The death of one member necessitated [End Page 178] the scheduling of an April election to fill his seat. The Islamic Action Front—the political organization of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood—boycotted the elections, along with a group of smaller parties. Exercising its newly gained power to recommend a prime minister, the House nominated incumbent prime minister Abdullah Ensour, who was officially made prime minister by King Abdullah.

Kenya: In the March 4 presidential election, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, candidate of the National Alliance and the son of Kenya’s first prime minister and president, won with 50.1 percent of the vote, narrowly earning the majority required to avoid a runoff. Prime Minister Raila Odinga of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy won 43 percent. Six other candidates split the remaining votes. Technical failures in counting the vote delayed an announcement of the result for five days. Alleging fraud, Odinga pledged to challenge the vote count in Kenya’s Supreme Court but asked Kenyans to respect the rule of law and avoid a repeat of the bloodshed that followed the December 2007 elections. The 86 percent turnout was the highest in the country’s history. National Assembly and Senate elections were held the same day; results will be reported in a future issue.

South Korea: In the December 19 presidential election, Park Geun-hye of the incumbent Saenuri Party (formerly the Grand National Party) won with 52 percent of the vote, defeating Moon Jae-in of the United Democratic Party, who received 48 percent of the vote. For excerpts from Park’s inaugural address, see p. 184 below.

Togo: Parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held on March 24; results will be reported in a future issue.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (April 2013–March 2014)

Albania: parliamentary, 23 June 2013

Argentina: legislative, October 2013

Azerbaijan: presidential, 16 October 2013

Bangladesh: parliamentary, by 24 January 2014

Bhutan: parliamentary, 23 April 2013

Bulgaria: parliamentary, 12 May 2013

Cambodia: parliamentary, 28 July 2013 [End Page 179]

Cameroon: legislative, 14 April 2013

Chile: presidential/legislative, December 2013

Colombia: legislative, 9 March 2014

Costa Rica: presidential/legislative, 2 February 2014

El Salvador: presidential, 2 February 2014

Equatorial Guinea: parliamentary, 26 May 2013

Georgia: presidential, October 2013

Guinea: parliamentary, 12 May 2013

Honduras: presidential/legislative, November 2013

Iran: presidential, 14 June 2013

Lebanon: parliamentary, 9 June 2013

Macedonia: presidential, March 2014

Madagascar: presidential, 24 July 2013; legislative, 25 September 2013

Malaysia: parliamentary, by April 2013

Maldives: presidential, 7 September 2013

Mali: presidential, 7 July 2013; legislative, 21 July 2013

Mongolia: presidential, May 2013

Montenegro: presidential, 7 April 2013

Pakistan: parliamentary, May 2013

Paraguay: presidential/legislative, 21 April 2013

Philippines: legislative, 13 May 2013

Rwanda: legislative, September 2013

Swaziland: parliamentary, August 2013

Tajikistan: presidential, November 2013

Thailand: legislative, March 2014

Venezuela: presidential, 14 April 2013

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[End Page 180]