Election Watch

Issue Date July 2000
Volume 11
Issue 3
Page Numbers 178-81
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ELECTION RESULTS (March-June 2000)

Dominican Republic: In presidential balloting held on May 16, Hipólito Mejía of the Dominican Revolutionary Party received 49.9 percent of the votes, Danilo Medina of the ruling Dominican Liberation Party collected 24.9 percent, and former president Joaquín Balaguer (of the Social Christian Reformist Party) finished third with 24.6 percent. Medina conceded defeat and declined to challenge Mejía, thus avoiding a runoff.

El Salvador: Balloting for the 84 seats in the Asamblea Legislativa was held on March 12. The leftist opposition Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) won the most seats, with 31; the governing Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) won 29; the National Conciliation Party (PCN), 14; the Christian Democratic Party, 5; and the United Democratic Center, 3.

Ethiopia: Elections to the Council of People’s Representatives were held on May 14. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Georgia: In presidential balloting on April 9, President Eduard Shevardnadze of the Citizens’ Union of Georgia secured a second five-year term in office, winning 79.8 percent of the vote. Dzhumber Patiashvili, former first secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, received only 16.7 percent, while none of the remaining candidates finished with more than one percent. Seventy percent of the electorate was reported to have taken part in the election, a figure disputed by many international observers, who also noted other violations of fair electoral practices.

Haiti: Preliminary results from the elections of May 21 showed the Lavalas Family party of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide winning [End Page 178] 14 of the 19 seats being contested in the 27-member Senate, thereby securing a majority. In the Chamber of Deputies, most seats remained to be decided in the June 25 runoff. Complete results from both rounds will be reported in a future issue.

Iran: In runoff parliamentary elections held on May 5, the reformist coalition backing President Mohammad Khatami secured an overwhelming majority. After winning 52 of the 66 remaining contests, the reformists finished with 222 of the 290 seats in the Majlis-e-Shoura, while conservatives obtained a total of 55.

Peru: Both legislative and presidential elections were held on April 9. President Alberto Fujimori’s Perú 2000 party received 52 of the 120 seats in the Democratic Constituent Congress, Perú Posible won 29, and the Independent Moralizing Front and the Somos Perú party tied for third place, with 9 seats each. In the presidential contest, Fujimori received the most votes (49.9 percent), but not enough to avoid a runoff. Alejandro Toledo of Perú Posible finished second, with 40.2 percent. Predicting electoral fraud in the May 28 runoff, Toledo dropped out of the race. Official results gave Fujimori 51.2 percent of the votes cast in the runoff, thereby gaining him a third five-year term as president. Toledo received 17.7 percent, and 29.9 percent of the ballots were spoiled. International and domestic observers voiced serious concerns about the fairness of the campaign and the elections.

Russia: After the resignation of Boris Yeltsin on December 31, presidential balloting was moved up to March 26. Acting president Vladimir Putin won a majority of the vote (52.9 percent), thus avoiding the need for a runoff. Gennady Zyuganov of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation finished second with 29.2 percent and Yabloko’s Grigory Yavlinsky received 5.8 percent. Of Russia’s 109 million registered voters, 68.6 percent took part in the election.

Senegal: In a presidential runoff held on March 19, Abdoulaye Wade of the “Alternance 2000” bloc defeated longtime president Abdou Diouf of the Socialist Party, 56.5 percent to 43.5 percent. Wade is Senegal’s first president from outside the Socialist Party.

South Korea: In April 13 elections to the 299-member National Assembly, the Grand National Party won 133 seats, 17 short of a majority. President Kim Dae-jung’s Millennium Democratic Party finished second with 115 seats, and the United Liberal Democrats of Kim Jong Pil finished third, dropping from 52 to 17 seats. Turnout was low, with less than 60 percent of the country’s 33.5 million voters going to the polls. [End Page 179]

Suriname: On May 25, elections were held for all 51 seats in the National Assembly, which will subsequently choose a new president. Preliminary results gave former president Ronald Venetiaan’s New Front 47 percent of the vote and 33 seats, one short of the required number to elect the president. Other parties that gained representation include the Millennium Coalition, with 15 percent of the vote, and incumbent president Jules Wijdenbosch’s National Democratic Party, with 9 percent.

Taiwan: On March 18, over 80 percent of the country’s 15.5 million voters cast their ballots in the country’s second direct presidential election. Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party won with 39 percent; James Soong, an independent formerly of the Nationalist Party (KMT), received 37 percent; and KMT candidate Lien Chan finished third with 23 percent. This is the first time that the president of Taiwan will be from a party other than the KMT.

Thailand: In accordance with the new constitution, candidates for the 200 seats in the Senate were not allowed to have party affiliations. In March 4 elections, 78 winners were disqualified by the electoral commission due to corruption allegations. New balloting for those seats was held on April 29, but 12 winning candidates were dis-qualified after further charges of corruption. A third round of voting was held on June 4.

Venezuela: Parliamentary and presidential elections were originally scheduled for May 28, but several days before the ballot they were postponed until July. The election commission cited technical and logistic problems that would have made the elections less than transparent and credible. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Zimbabwe: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for June 24 and 25. Results will be reported in a future issue.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (July 2000-June 2001)

Azerbaijan: parliamentary, November 2000 (latest)

Benin: presidential, March 2001

Bosnia-Herzegovina: presidential/parliamentary, 8 October 2000

Cape Verde: presidential/parliamentary, February 2001

Côte d’Ivoire: presidential, 17 September 2000

Ghana: presidential/legislative, 8 December 2000

Grenada: parliamentary, December 2000 (latest)

Guinea: parliamentary, July 2000

Iran: presidential, May 2001

Kyrgyzstan: presidential, December 2000 (latest)

Lebanon: parliamentary, August 2000

Lesotho: parliamentary, November 2000 (approximate)

Lithuania: parliamentary, October 2000 (approximate)

Mexico: presidential/legislative, 2 July 2000

Moldova: presidential, 3 December 2000

Philippines: legislative, 11 May 2001

Poland: presidential, 8 October 2000

Romania: presidential/parliamentary, September 2000 (latest)

Slovenia: parliamentary, fall 2000

Tanzania: presidential/parliamentary, 28 October 2000

Thailand: parliamentary (lower house), November 2000

Trinidad and Tobago: presidential/parliamentary, November 2000 (latest)

Yemen: parliamentary, April 2001

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in developing nations and the postcommunist world. Elections in nondemocratic 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.