Burundi: Following an eight-week delay marked by unrest over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for an arguably unconstitutional third term, the presidential election was held on July 21. Despite controversy over his eligibility to run, Nkurunziza of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) entered the race and won 69 percent. The names of several opposition candidates, despite their call for a boycott of the vote, remained on the final ballot. Among them was former rebel leader Agathon Rwasa of the opposition Hope for Burundians coalition, who came in second with 19 percent. In July 24 elections for the 100-seat National Assembly, Nkurunziza’s CNDD-FDD won 77 seats, the Hope for Burundians coalition won 21 seats, and the remaining seats went to members of smaller parties. UN observers criticized the election, stating “the environment was not conducive for free, credible, and inclusive elections.” The opposition remained divided over whether victorious opposition candidates should take their seats in parliament.
Ethiopia: According to official results from elections held May 24 for the 547-seat House of People’s Representatives, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s longtime ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) won all 547 seats, stripping the opposition of the single seat that it had previously held.
Guatemala: Shortly before the September 6 first-round presidential election, President Otto Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party (PP), who was not a candidate for reelection, resigned in the face of corruption charges. Actor and comedian Jimmy Morales of the newly formed National Convergence Front (FCN) led with 24 percent, while former first lady Sandra Torres of the center-left National Unity for Hope (UNE) and Manuel Baldizón of the [End Page 178] Renewed Democratic Liberty (Lider) party each received 20 percent, but Baldizón withdrew from the October 25 runoff (whose results will be reported in a future issue). In concurrent elections for the 158-seat Congress, Lider received 19 percent and 46 seats; the UNE, 16 percent and 33 seats; the newly formed Everyone Together for Guatemala party, 11 percent and 16 seats; the PP, 9 percent and 18 seats; and the FCN, 9 percent and 11 seats. The remaining seats went to members of smaller parties.
Haiti: Following more than three years of delays, first-round elections for Haiti’s bicameral legislature were held August 9. According to preliminary results, none of the candidates vying for the 20-seat Senate managed to avoid a runoff and only eight of the estimated 1,600 candidates running for the 99-seat Chamber of Deputies were elected in the first round. Turnout was extremely low—only 18 percent nationwide—and voting was canceled in 22 constituencies due to violence. OAS observers, despite acknowledging irregularities, commended Haiti for holding the long overdue elections, which they described as “a real step forward for strengthening democracy in Haiti.” Presidential and second-round legislative elections are scheduled to take place October 25; results will be reported in a future issue.
Mexico: In June 7 elections for the 500-seat Chamber of Deputies, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), together with its allies the Mexican Green Ecologist Party (PVEM) and the New Alliance Party (PANAL), upheld its narrow majority. The PRI won 29 percent and 203 seats, PVEM received 7 percent and 47 seats, and PANAL received 4 percent and 10 seats. Former president Felipe Calderón’s conservative National Action Party (PAN) received 21 percent and 108 seats; the social-democratic Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) won 11 percent and 56 seats; the newly formed PRD splinter group National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), led by former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, won 8 percent and 35 seats; and the left-leaning Citizens’ Movement (MC) received 6 percent and 26 seats. Two smaller parties and independent candidates split the remaining 15 seats. Violence and intimidation escalated ahead of the election, resulting in the death of eight candidates.
Singapore: Following the death of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, the government called for snap elections on September 11 for the 89-seat Parliament. The incumbent People’s Action Party, which has been in power for more than fifty years, won with 83 seats. The opposition Workers’ Party received 6 seats. The vote marked the first time since Singapore’s independence in which all 89 seats were contested.
Sri Lanka: In elections held August 17 for the 225-seat Parliament, the United National Front for Good Governance—an alliance composed of [End Page 179] Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party and 9 minority parties—won 46 percent and 106 seats, needing to form a coalition to gain a majority. The United People’s Freedom Alliance of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was defeated by Maithripala Sirisena in the January 8 presidential election, won 42 percent and 95 seats; the Tamil National Alliance—composed of moderate Tamil parties and former armed groups—received and 5 percent 16 seats; and the Sinhalese Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna won 5 percent and 6 seats.
Trinidad and Tobago: In September 7 elections for the 41-seat House of Representatives, the opposition People’s National Movement won 23 seats. The two main parties in the old ruling coalition—the United National Congress and the Congress of the People—received 17 seats and 1 seat, respectively.
(October 2015–September 2016)
- Afghanistan: parliamentary, by December 2015
- Argentina: presidential/legislative, 25 October 2015
- Azerbaijan: parliamentary, 1 November 2015
- Belarus: presidential, 11 October 2015
- Benin: presidential, by March 2016; parliamentary, by September 2016
- Burkina Faso: presidential/parliamentary, 11 October 2015
- Burma: legislative, 8 November 2015
- Cape Verde: presidential, by August 2016; parliamentary, by February 2016
- Central African Republic: presidential/parliamentary, 18 October 2015
- Chad: presidential, by April 2016; legislative, by December 2015
- Côte d’Ivoire: presidential, 25 October 2015
- Croatia: parliamentary, by February 2016
- Djibouti: presidential, by April 2016
- Dominica: parliamentary, by December 2015
- Dominican Republic: presidential/legislative, 15 May 2016 [End Page 180]
- Egypt: parliamentary, 22 November 2015
- Equatorial Guinea: presidential, by December 2015
- Guinea: presidential, 11 October 2015
- Haiti: presidential, 25 October 2015
- Iran: parliamentary, 26 February 2016
- Kyrgyzstan: parliamentary, 4 October 2015
- Macedonia: parliamentary, by April 2016
- Mongolia: parliamentary, by June 2016
- Niger: presidential/parliamentary, 21 February 2016
- Peru: presidential/legislative, by April 2016
- Philippines: presidential/legislative, by May 2016
- Poland: parliamentary, 25 October 2015
- Russia: parliamentary, 18 September 2016
- Samoa: parliamentary, 4 March 2016
- São Tomé and Príncipe: presidential, by July 2016
- South Korea: parliamentary, by April 2016
- Taiwan: presidential, 16 January 2016
- Tanzania: presidential/parliamentary, 25 October 2015
- Thailand: parliamentary, by August 2016
- Turkey: parliamentary, 1 November 2015
- Uganda: presidential/parliamentary, by February 2016
- Venezuela: legislative, 6 December 2015
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 181]