Election Watch

Issue Date July 2017
Volume 28
Issue 3
Page Numbers 180-83
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ELECTION RESULTS (March–June 2017)

Albania: Elections for the 140-seat Parliament were scheduled to occur on June 25. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Algeria: In May 4 elections for the 462-seat People’s National Assembly, the ruling two-party coalition won a decisive majority of 264 seats. The National Liberation Front (NLF) of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika won 26 percent of the vote and 164 seats, down from 208 seats in 2012; its coalition partner, the National Rally for Democracy (RND), won 15 percent and 100 seats. The opposition Islamist party, Movement of Society for Peace (MSP), won 6 percent and 33 seats, and smaller parties and independents won the remaining seats. Turnout was officially reported as 35.4 percent, down from 43 percent in 2012. Following the vote, President Bouteflika appointed former housing minister Abdelmajid Tebboune as prime minister, replacing incumbent and Bouteflika confidant Abdelmalek Sellal.

Armenia: In April 2 elections for the 105-seat National Assembly, the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) led by President Serzh Sarkisian retained a majority, winning 49 percent of the vote and 58 seats. The Tsarukyan Alliance won 27 percent and 31 seats; the Yelk (Way Out) Alliance, 7.8 percent and 9 seats; and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, 6.6 percent and 7 seats. The elections were the first to occur following the 2015 constitutional referendum that authorized a change from a semipresidential system to a parliamentary republic. Observers with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reported that the elections were “well administered and fundamental freedoms . . . generally respected,” but expressed concern over credible allegations of vote buying that undermined public confidence in the elections. [End Page 180]

The Bahamas: Elections for the 39-seat House of Assembly were held May 10. The opposition Free National Movement led by Hubert Minnis captured 57 percent of the vote and 35 seats, up from 9 seats in 2012; the ruling Progressive Liberal Party of outgoing prime minister Perry Christie won just 37 percent and 4 seats.

Bulgaria: Snap elections for the 240-seat National Assembly were held March 26 following the January resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov of Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB). GERB won a plurality, securing 33.5 percent of the vote and 95 seats. The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) won 28 percent and 80 seats; the nationalist United Patriots (UP), 9 percent and 27 seats; the Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), 9 percent and 26 seats; and Volya, 4 percent and 12 seats. Following the vote, GERB formed a coalition government with the UP, enabling Borisov’s return for a third term in office as prime minister.

The Gambia: In April 6 elections for the 53-seat National Assembly, the United Democratic Party led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ousainou Darboe won a landslide victory, taking 37 percent of the vote and 31 seats. The Gambia Democratic Congress led by Mama Kandeh won 17 percent and 5 seats; and the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, the party of former longtime president Yahya Jammeh now led by Fabakary Jatta, won 16 percent and 5 seats. Smaller parties and one independent split the remaining seats. Observers with the European Union commended the “peaceful and engaging campaign,” the first to take place since the historic December 2016 presidential election in which Adama Barrow scored an upset win over Jammeh.

Iran: In the May 19 presidential election, incumbent Hassan Rouhani was reelected to a second four-year term, winning 57 percent of the vote and avoiding a runoff. Cleric Ebrahim Raisi won 38 percent. Prior to the election, the twelve-member Guardian Council approved only six candidates (two of whom subsequently withdrew) from among 1,636 registrants to contest the election.

Kosovo: Snap elections for the 120-seat Assembly were held June 11, following a May 10 vote of no confidence in the government of Prime Minister Isa Mustafa of the Democratic League of Kosovo. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Lesotho: Following a vote of no confidence against incumbent prime minister Pakalitha Mosisili of the ruling Democratic Congress (DC) and the subsequent dissolution of Parliament on March 7 by King Letsie III, snap elections for the 120-seat National Assembly were held [End Page 181] on June 3. The opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC) of former prime minister Thomas Thabane won a plurality of 40 percent of the vote and 48 seats. Mosisili’s DC won 26 percent and 30 seats; the pan-African Lesotho Congress of Democracy (LCD), 9 percent and 11 seats; and the newly formed Alliance of Democrats (AD), led by Monyane Moleleki, 7 percent and 9 seats. Smaller parties won the remaining seats. Negotiations to form a governing coalition were ongoing as of early June.

Micronesia: Elections for the 14-seat Congress were held March 7. Independent candidates won all ten contested seats, as Micronesia does not have any political parties.

Mongolia: Presidential elections were scheduled for June 26; results will be reported in a future issue.

Papua New Guinea: Elections for the 111-member unicameral National Parliament were scheduled to occur from June 24 to July 8. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Serbia: In the April 2 presidential election, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) won 55 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff. Independent candidates Saša Janković and Luka Maksimović won 16 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Eight other candidates won less than 6 percent each. Widespread protests followed the vote, with demonstrators criticizing alleged electoral misconduct by the ruling party, including voter intimidation and a controlled media environment that favored Vučić and the SNS.

South Korea: A special presidential election took place May 9 following the impeachment and removal from office of President Park Geun-hye of the conservative Saenuri Party (formerly the Grand National Party and now the Liberty Korea Party). Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party won with a 41 percent plurality, defeating Hong Joon-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party (24 percent) and Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party (21 percent) as well as two minor candidates. An analysis of the presidential election will appear in a future issue.

Timor-Leste: In the March 20 presidential election, former guerrilla fighter Francisco Guterres of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) was elected with 57 percent of the vote, defeating António da Conceição of the Timorese Democratic Party (PTD), who won 33 percent. Six other presidential candidates won less than 3 percent each. [End Page 182]

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (July 2017–June 2018)

Angola: legislative, 23 August 2017

Chile: presidential/legislative, 19 November 2017

Congo (Brazzaville): legislative, by July 2017

Czech Republic: parliamentary, 20–21 October 2017

Gabon: parliamentary, 29 July 2017

Honduras: presidential/legislative, 26 November 2017

Kenya: presidential/legislative, 8 August 2017

Kyrgyzstan: presidential, 15 October 2017

Liberia: presidential/legislative, 10 October 2017

Paraguay: presidential/legislative, by April 2018

Russia: presidential, 18 March 2018

Rwanda: presidential, 4 August 2017

Senegal: parliamentary, 30 July 2017

Sierra Leone: presidential/legislative, 7 March 2018

Singapore: presidential, by September 2017

Slovenia: presidential, by December 2017 [End Page 183]

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 © 2017 National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press