ELECTION RESULTS (September–December 2011)
Argentina: In the October 23 presidential election, incumbent Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was reelected with 54 percent of the vote. Hermes Binner of the Socialist Party won 17 percent of the vote, and Ricardo Alfonsín of the Radical Civic Union (UCR) won 11 percent. Following concurrent elections for 128 of 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, Kirchner’s party, the Front for Victory, had 135 seats; UCR had 42 seats; Federal Peronism had 27 seats; the Broad Progessive Front had 17 seats; the Republican Proposal had 10 seats; and the Civic Coalition had 7 seats. Other parties had the remaining 19 seats.
Bahrain: On September 24, parliamentary by-elections for the 40-seat Council of Representatives were held to replace eighteen Shia lawmakers from the Islamic National Accord Society (a Shia opposition group known as al-Wifaq), who had resigned over the crackdown on antigovernment protesters. Most opposition members boycotted. Turnout was 17 percent, and protesters clashed with police on the eve of the election.
Bulgaria: In the October 30 presidential runoff, Rosen Plevneliev of the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria won with 53 percent of the vote, defeating Ivaylo Kalfin of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). In the first round on October 23, Plevneliev won 40 percent; Kalfin won 29 percent; and Meglena Kuneva, who ran as an independent, won 14 percent. No other candidate won more than 4 percent. Incumbent Georgi Parvanov, originally elected as a BSP candidate, had served the maximum two terms.
Cameroon: In the October 9 presidential election, incumbent Paul Biya (who has been in power since 1982) won with 78 percent of the vote, [End Page 176] defeating longtime opposition leader John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front, who won 11 percent. A constitutional amendment eliminating term limits had been passed in 2008. Opposition members alleged fraud and voter intimidation on the part of the ruling party.
Côte d’Ivoire: Parliamentary elections were held on December 11; results will be reported in a future issue.
Croatia: Parliamentary elections were held on December 4; results will be reported in a future issue.
Democratic Republic of Congo: Presidential and legislative elections were held on November 28; results will be reported in a future issue.
Egypt: Parliamentary elections for the lower house were scheduled to be held in three rounds on November 28, December 14, and January 3; results will be reported in a future issue.
The Gambia: In the November 24 presidential election, incumbent Yahya Jammeh of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction won with 72 percent of the vote. Opposition candidate Ousainou Darboe of the United Democratic Party won 17 percent, and Hamat Bah of the opposition United Front coalition won 11 percent. Jammeh has been in power since 1994. ECOWAS complained about “an unacceptable level of control of the electronic media by the party in power . . . and an opposition and electorate cowed by repression and intimidation.”
Guatemala: In the November 6 presidential runoff, former general Otto Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party (PP) won 54 percent of the vote, defeating Manuel Baldizón of the Renewed Democratic Liberty party (Lider). In the first round on September 11, Molina won 36 percent, Baldizón won 23 percent, and Eduardo Suger of the Commitment, Renovation, and Order party (CREO) won 17 percent. The constitution limited incumbent Álvaro Colom to one term. Molina is the first former military leader to be president since democracy was restored in 1986. In concurrent elections for the 158-seat Congress, the PP won 27 percent and 56 seats; Colom’s National Unity of Hope, allied with the Grand National Alliance, won 23 percent and 48 seats; the Union of Nationalist Change won 9.5 percent and 14 seats; Lider won 9 percent and 14 seats; and CREO won 8.7 percent and 12 seats. Other parties won the remaining 14 seats.
Guyana: In November 28 elections for the 65-seat National Assembly, the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) won 49 percent of the vote and 32 seats. The opposition coalition Partnership for National Unity (APNU) won 41 percent and 26 seats, and the Alliance for Change [End Page 177] (AFC) won 10 percent and 7 seats. APNU and AFC planned to form a governing coalition. According to Guyanese law, however, the leader of the party winning the most votes becomes president, so PPP/C’s Donald Ramotar became president, defeating David Granger of APNU. Incumbent Bharrat Jagdeo of PPP/C had served the maximum two terms.
Kyrgyzstan: In the October 30 presidential election, former prime minister Almazbek Atambayev of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) won 63 percent of the vote. Former speaker of parliament Adakhan Madumarov of the One Kyrgyzstan party won 15 percent, and Kamchybek Tashiev of Ata-Jurt won 14 percent. Interim president Roza Otunbayeva of SDPK did not run in the election.
Latvia: On September 17, elections were held for the 100-seat Parliament following approval of a July 23 referendum dissolving Parliament. The Harmony Center alliance—including the Social Democratic Party “Harmony,” which courts Russian-speakers, and the Latvian Socialist Party—led by Riga mayor Nils Ušakovs, won 28 percent and 31 seats. Zatlers’ Reform Party, led by former president Valdis Zatlers, won 21 percent and 22 seats. Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis’s Unity party won 19 percent and 20 seats. The National Alliance (NA), led by Raivis Dzintars and Gaidis Bērziņš, won 14 percent and 14 seats. The Greens’ and Farmers’ Union won 12 percent and 13 seats. Zatlers’ Reform Party, Unity, and NA formed a governing coalition, and Dombrovskis remained prime minister.
Liberia: In the November 8 presidential runoff, incumbent Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the Unity Party (UP) won with 91 percent after Winston Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) boycotted over allegations of vote fraud in the first round. The runoff was marked by rioting and some violence. In the first round on October 11, Johnson Sirleaf won 44 percent, Tubman won 33 percent, and former warlord Prince Yormie Johnson of the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) won 12 percent. In concurrent elections for the 73-seat House of Representatives, UP won 18 percent and 24 seats; CDC won 13 percent and 11 seats; the Liberty Party won 9 percent and 7 seats; NUDP won 4 percent and 6 seats; the National Democratic Coalition won 6 percent and 5 seats; and independent candidates won 9 seats. Other parties won the remaining 11 seats.
Morocco: In November 25 parliamentary elections for the 395-seat Assembly of Representatives, the moderate Islamist opposition Justice and Development Party (PJD) won 107 seats. The nationalist Independence Party (Istiqlal) won 60 seats; the National Assembly of Independents won 52 seats; the royalist Party of Authenticity and Modernity won 47 seats; the Socialist Union of Popular Forces won 39 seats; the Popular [End Page 178] Movement won 32 seats; the Constitutional Union won 23 seats; and the Party of Progress and Socialism won 18 seats. Other parties won the remaining 17 seats. The youth-based February 20 Movement, which led the nationwide protests earlier in the year that sparked a constitutional reform process and the early elections, called for a boycott. Turnout was at 45 percent, but a large number of ballots were spoiled. The king named PJD leader Abdelilah Benkirane prime minister.
Nicaragua: In the November 6 presidential election, incumbent Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) won with 63 percent of the vote. Fabio Gadea Mantilla of the Independent Liberal Party (PLI) won 31 percent, and former president Arnoldo Alemán of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC) won 6 percent. In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that Ortega could run for reelection despite a constitutional ban on back-to-back terms. In concurrent elections for the 90 elected seats in the National Assembly, FSLN won 61 percent and 62 seats, PLI won 31 percent and 26 seats, and PLC won 7 percent and 2 seats. EU and OAS election monitors complained of obstacles to accessing polling stations, and the EU expressed concern that the Supreme Electoral Council did not operate in a transparent and impartial manner. Two opposition parties alleged that the results were fraudulent. Protests broke out in Managua after the results were announced.
Oman: In October 15 elections for the 84-member Majlis al-Shura consultative assembly, all elected representatives were independents, since political parties are banned. One of the 77 female candidates was elected. Following protests in March, Sultan Qaboos bin Said said he will grant the assembly some legislative and regulatory powers, but the extent of these is not yet clear.
Poland: In October 9 elections for the 460-seat Sejm, prime minister Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO) party won 39 percent of the vote and 207 seats, while former prime minister Jarosław Kaczyński’s Law and Justice (PiS) party won 30 percent and 157 seats. A new leftist party, Palikot’s Movement, won 10 percent and 40 seats; the Polish People’s Party (PSL), led by Waldemar Pawlak, won 8 percent and 28 seats; and the postcommunist Democratic Left Alliance, led by Grzegorz Napieralski, won 8 percent and 27 seats. One seat went to the German Minority party. PO and PSL formed a governing coalition.
Russia: According to preliminary results of the December 4 elections for the 450-seat State Duma, Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia (UR) party won 49.5 percent of the vote and 238 seats (the biggest setback for UR in Putin’s twelve years in power). The Communist Party, led by Gennady Zyuganov, won 19 percent and 92 seats; Just Russia, led [End Page 179] by Sergei Mironov, won 13 percent and 64 seats; and the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, won 12 percent and 56 seats. Three other parties did not pass the 7 percent threshold, and a number of other parties were disqualified before the voting. Opposition parties alleged fraud, and tens of thousands protested in Moscow (the largest opposition protest in recent years). OSCE observers complained of “frequent procedural violations and instances of apparent manipulation,” and stated that “the playing field was slanted in favour of United Russia.”
Slovenia: Parliamentary elections were held on December 4; results will be reported in a future issue.
Tunisia: In October 23 elections for the 217-seat constituent assembly, the first elections since the ouster of former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January, Rachid Ghannouchi’s once-banned Islamist al-Nahda party won 37 percent of the vote and 89 seats. The secularist Congress for the Republic party, led by Moncef Marzouki, won 9 percent and 29 seats. The Popular Petition party, led by Mohamed al-Hachmi Hamdi, won 7 percent and 26 seats; the Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties (Ettakatol) won 7 percent and 20 seats; and the Progressive Democratic Party won 4 percent and 16 seats. Independent candidates won 8 seats, and other parties won the remaining 29 seats.
Zambia: In the September 20 presidential elections, Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front (PF) won with 42 percent of the vote, defeating incumbent Rupiah Banda of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), who won 35 percent. Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) won 18 percent. In concurrent elections for 150 elected seats in the National Assembly, PF won 38 percent and 60 seats; MMD won 34 percent and 55 seats; UPND won 17 percent and 28 seats; and independents won 8 percent and 3 seats. Two other parties won one seat each, and two seats remain vacant.
UPCOMING ELECTIONS(January–December 2012)
Armenia: parliamentary, 6 May 2012
Belarus: parliamentary, by June 2012
Burkina Faso: parliamentary, May 2012
Cameroon: parliamentary, July 2012
Congo, Republic of: legislative, August 2012
Dominican Republic: presidential, 16 May 2012 [End Page 180]
Egypt: presidential, June 2012
El Salvador: legislative, March 2012
Equatorial Guinea: parliamentary, May 2012
The Gambia: legislative, January 2012
Georgia: parliamentary, October 2012
Guinea-Bissau: parliamentary, November 2012
Hong Kong: legislative, September 2012
Iran: legislative, 29 March 2012
Jamaica: parliamentary, October 2012
Jordan: parliamentary, by November 2012
Kazakhstan: parliamentary, 15 January 2012
Kenya: presidential/parliamentary, by December 2012
Lesotho: parliamentary, February 2012
Libya: presidential/legislative, 1 April 2012
Lithuania: parliamentary, October 2012
Madagascar: presidential/parliamentary, May 2012
Mali: presidential, 29 April 2012; parliamentary, July 2012
Mexico: presidential/legislative, 1 July 2012
Mongolia: parliamentary, June 2012
Papua New Guinea: parliamentary, 1 June 2012
Romania: parliamentary, November 2012
Russia: presidential, 4 March 2012
Senegal: presidential, 26 February 2012; parliamentary, June 2012
Serbia: parliamentary, May 2012
Sierra Leone: legislative, August 2012; presidential, 17 November 2012
Slovakia: parliamentary, 10 March 2012
Slovenia: presidential, 8 October 2012
South Korea: parliamentary, April 2012; presidential, Decemebr 2012
Taiwan: parliamentary/presidential, 14 January 2012
Timor-Leste: presidential, May 2012; parliamentary, June 2012
Togo: parliamentary, October 2012
Ukraine: parliamentary, 28 October 2012
Vanuatu: parliamentary, September 2012
Venezuela: presidential, 7 October 2012
Yemen: presidential, 21 February 2012
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]