Election Watch

Issue Date July 2001
Volume 12
Issue 3
Page Numbers 179-82
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(March-June 2001)

Albania: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for June 24. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Benin: In presidential balloting on March 4, incumbent president and former Marxist military ruler Mathieu Kérékou, running as an independent, won more than 39 percent of the vote; former president and Benin Renaissance Party leader Nicéphore Soglo came in second with 30 percent. Since no candidate won a majority of the vote, a runoff between Kérékou and Soglo was scheduled for March 22. Soglo, however, withdrew from the second round, citing voting irregularities in the first. The third-place finisher, parliamentary speaker Adrien Houngbedji of the Party of Democratic Renewal, also withdrew, leaving fourth-place candidate Bruno Amoussou of the Social Democratic Party (who had already thrown his support to Kérékou) to run against the incumbent. In the runoff, Kérékou won 83.6 percent of the vote, while Amoussou trailed with 16.4 percent.

Bulgaria: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for June 17. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Chad: In the May 20 presidential election, incumbent Lt. Gen. Idriss Deby of the governing Patriotic Salvation Movement was reelected in a seven-candidate race with 67 percent of the vote. His closest competitor, Yorongar Ngarledjy of the Front of Action Forces, who won 13.9 percent of the vote, refused to concede defeat, accusing Deby of electoral irregularities. Deby’s opponents have since threatened to contest the election results in Chad’s constitutional court.

Guyana: In parliamentary elections on March 19, the ruling People’s Progressive Party of President Bharrat Jagdeo, supported mainly by ethnic [End Page 179] East Indians, won 34 seats in the 65-member National Assembly, the same number as in the last election. The People’s National Congress, backed primarily by voters of African descent, won 27 seats, one more than it had previously held. Three smaller parties split the remaining 4 seats.

Iran: In a landslide victory on June 8, President Mohammad Khatami won reelection with 77 percent of the vote, beating out nine other candidates. His closest competitor, Ahmad Tavakoli, an economist and former labor minister, trailed with 16.5 percent of the vote. All candidates ran as independents, as there are no formal political parties in Iran.

Micronesia: In the March 6 legislative elections, the 10 two-year-term seats in the 14-member Congress were in contest. Because formal parties do not exist, all candidates ran as independents. With the exception of Senator Nishima Yleizah, who passed away, all sitting members were reelected.

Mongolia: In the May 20 presidential election, former communist party official and incumbent president Natsagiyn Bagabandi of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party was reelected with 58 percent of the vote. Former speaker of parliament Radnaasümbereliyn Gonchigdorj of the Mongolian National Democratic Party came in second, with 37 percent.

Peru: Presidential and legislative elections were held on April 8. In the first round of the presidential race, Alejandro Toledo of Peru Possible won 36.5 percent of the vote; former president Alan García Pérez of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) won 25.8 percent; and former congresswoman Lourdes Flores of the National Unity Party won 24.3 percent. (Interim president Valentín Paniagua, who had succeeded the ousted Alberto Fujimori on November 22, chose not to run.) Toledo emerged victorious in the June 3 runoff, capturing 52.2 percent of the vote to García’s 47.8 percent. In the legislative elections, Toledo’s Peru Possible won 41 seats, APRA gained 29, and the conservative National Unity Party won 15 of the 120 contested seats. Change 90-New Majority, the party originally created to back Fujimori, fell from 52 to 4 seats.

Philippines: Legislative elections were held on May 14. In the 24-seat Senate, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s People Power Coalition won 8 of the 13 seats being contested–the number it needed for a simple majority–while the party of ousted president Joseph Estrada, Struggle of the Filipino Masses, won 4, and the remaining seat went to an independent. (Estrada’s wife was among the four candidates who won seats for his party.) Arroyo’s coalition easily won control of the lower house. About 100 people died in election-related violence, making the polling the most violent since 1986. [End Page 180]

Senegal: In accordance with a January referendum, elections to the reconstituted 120-seat parliament were held on April 29. The Sopi Coalitionled by the Senegalese Democratic Partyof President Abdoulaye Wade gained control, winning 89 seats; the Alliance of Forces for Progress, led by Wade’s former prime minister Moustapha Niasse, secured 11; and the Socialist Party, formerly in the majority with 93 of 140 seats, dropped to only 10 seats in the new parliament. The victory of the Sopi Coalition was seen as a show of support for Wade, the first opposition candidate ever elected to the presidency. (See the article by Dennis Galvan on pp. 5162 of this issue.)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines: In March 28 parliamentary elections to the 15-seat House of Assembly, the opposition Unity Labour Party garnered 12 seats, up from 7 in the previous parliament. The remaining 3 seats went to the formerly ruling New Democratic Party.

Uganda: On March 12, incumbent president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni won a landslide victory, with 69.3 percent of the vote. Kiiza Besigye, who ran as a reformer, trailed with 27.8 percent. Four other candidates split the remainder of the votes. Besigye, who had been Museveni’s doctor, accused the president of rigging the election. Because political parties are barred from campaigning or putting forth candidates in elections, all six ran as independents.

Yugoslavia (Montenegro): Parliamentary elections for the 77-seat Assembly of Montenegro were held on April 22. The pro-independence Victory for Montenegro alliance, led by President Milo Djukanovic; of the Democratic Party of Socialists, won 36 seats. The pro-Yugoslavia opposition bloc Together for Montenegro followed closely, with 33 seats. The remaining 8 seats went to other supporters of independence: The Liberal Alliance won 6 and small ethnic Albanian parties won 2, bringing the pro-independence total to 44 seats. Djukanovic; later brokered a coalition deal with the Liberal Alliance to form a narrow majority in parliament. The coalition’s main goal is to call a referendum on Montenegro’s independence from Yugoslavia.

(July 2001-June 2002)

Algeria: parliamentary, June 2002

Argentina: legislative, October 2001

The Bahamas: parliamentary, March 2002

Bangladesh: presidential/parliamentary, October 2001 (latest) [End Page 181]

Belarus: presidential, 9 September 2001

Bolivia: presidential/legislative, June 2002

Bulgaria: presidential, November 2001

Chad: parliamentary, March 2002

Chile: legislative, December 2001

Colombia: legislative, March 2002; presidential, May 2002

Costa Rica: presidential/legislative, 2 February 2002

Czech Republic: parliamentary, June 2002

Dominican Republic: legislative, May 2002

East Timor: parliamentary, 30 August 2001

Eritrea: parliamentary, December 2001

Gabon: parliamentary, December 2001

The Gambia: presidential, 18 October 2001; legislative, December 2001

Honduras: presidential/legislative, 25 November 2001

Hungary: parliamentary, Spring 2002

Jamaica: parliamentary, March 2002

Jordan: parliamentary, November 2001

Lesotho: parliamentary, 2001 (undetermined date)

Mali: presidential, May 2002 (latest)

Nicaragua: presidential/legislative, 5 November 2001

Papua New Guinea: parliamentary, June 2002

Poland: parliamentary, September 2001 (latest)

Solomon Islands: parliamentary, September 2001

Taiwan: legislative, December 2001

Togo: parliamentary, 14 and 28 October 2001

Zambia: presidential/legislative, October 2001

Zimbabwe: presidential, March 2002

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in developing nations and the postcommunist world. Elections in non-democratic 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. Much of the data for Election Watch is provided by 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, contact: IFES, 1101 15th Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 828-8507; www.ifes.org.