Election Watch

Issue Date October 1993
Volume 4
Issue 4
Page Numbers 129-32
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ELECTION RESULTS (June 1993-September 1993)

Belize: In parliamentary elections held on June 30, the United Democratic Party of former prime minister Manuel Esquivel defeated the ruling People’s United Party (PUP), winning 16 of 29 seats in the National Assembly’s House of Representatives and recovering the majority it lost after the 1989 elections. Prime Minister George Price’s PUP, Belize’s predominant party since the achievement of internal self-government in 1964, won the remaining 13 seats.

Bolivia: The Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR) won leading positions in both houses of the Bolivian Congress in legislative voting on June 6. In the 27-seat Senate, the MNR won 17 places, while the Patriotic Alliance (AP) won 8 places and two other parties each won a seat. In the 130-member Chamber of Deputies, the MNR gained 52 seats, the AP 35 seats, the Civic Solidarity Unity party 20 seats, and the Conscience of the Fatherland party 13 seats. Four other parties divided the remaining 10 seats. On August 6, the newly convened legislature formally elected MNR candidate Gonzalo Sáinchez de Lozada as Bolivia’s president. Sánchez de Lozada had won a plurality in June’s presidential voting but failed to reach the absolute majority necessary for direct election.

Burundi: Newly elected president Melchior Ndadaye’s Burundi Democratic Front party won 65 seats in the National Assembly in parliamentary voting on June 29. The Unity for National Progress party, the former ruling party, won the legislature’s remaining 16 seats. Burundi’s first multiparty parliamentary election since independence in 1962 was judged free and fair by international monitors, and marked the end of the longstanding political domination of the majority Hutu ethnic group by the minority Tutsi. [End Page 129]

Central African Republic: In presidential elections on August 22, President André Kolingba trailed three other candidates, winning only 11 percent of the vote. Former prime minister Ange-Félix Patassé finished first with 37 percent, followed by David Dacko with 21 percent and Abel Goumba with just under 21 percent. A runoff between Patassé and Dacko was held on September 12, and results will be reported in our next issue.

Iran: In voting on June 11, President Hashemi Rafsanjani won reelection with 63 percent of the vote, far short of the 95 percent he won in 1989 presidential balloting. Former labor minister Ahmed Tavakoli, with 24 percent of the vote, finished second in a four-way race restricted to candidates approved by the Council of Guardians, a group of leading clerics. Only 56 percent of those eligible voted, down from a 70-percent turnout four years ago.

Madagascar: In parliamentary voting on June 16, the Forces Vives Cartel, an umbrella grouping of the opposition parties who led the 1991 challenge to longtime military ruler Didier Ratsiraka, gained a clear plurality in the unicameral, 138-seat chamber with 45 places. Also winning significant representation were the Movement for the Development of Madagascar, with 15 seats; Leader, with 13 seats; Famima, the old ruling party, with 11 seats, and Fihaonana and the Rally for Social Democracy, each with 8 seats.

Morocco: In parliamentary voting on June 25, Moroccan voters chose 222 of the 333 seats in the unicameral Chamber of Representatives. The Socialist Union of Popular Forces gained a plurality with 48 seats. Other parties who won substantial representation were the Istiqlal party, with 43 seats; the Popular Movement party, with 33 seats; the National Rally for Independence, with 28 seats; and the Constitutional Union party, with 27 seats. The latter three had been participants in the country’s previous governing coalition. An electoral college of professionals and labor representatives was scheduled to convene on September 17 to vote on the remaining 111 seats that will determine the final shape of the new governing coalition.

Nigeria: In presidential elections held on June 12, Moshood K.O. Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) won a reported 58 percent of the vote, against 42 percent for Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC). Abiola and his vice-presidential running mate, Babagana Kingibe, carried 19 of the 30 states, including Tofa’s home state of Kano. Although the elections were judged among the country’s freest and fairest, the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida ordered the National Electoral Commission not to release the final results and subsequently annulled the election. [End Page 130]

Poland: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for September 19, and results will be reported in our next issue.

Singapore: On August 28, former deputy prime minister Ong Teng Cheong defeated Chua Kim Yeow to become Singapore’s first directly elected president. Despite being endorsed by the People’s Action Party, which has held power for 37 years, Ong won the race with only 59 percent of the votes. Runner-up Chua, a retired civil servant whose total campaign consisted of only 20 minutes of televised speeches, managed to win 41.3 percent of the votes.

Togo: Opposition candidates boycotted the presidential election on August 25, allowing military dictator Gnassingbé Eyadéma to sweep the election with 96.49 percent of the votes. The boycott was in response to accusations made by opposition leaders that the government had rigged the voters’ list. An international observer delegation led by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter cancelled its mission after concluding that minimum conditions did not exist to conduct a meaningful election.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (October 1993-September 1994)

Antigua: parliamentary, March 1994*

Argentina: legislative, 3 October 1993

Chile: presidential/legislative, 11 December 1993

Colombia: presidential/legislative, March 1994

Costa Rica: presidential, 6 February 1994

Dominican Republic: legislative, 16 May 1994

El Salvador: presidential/legislative, March 1994

Gabon: presidential, 5 December 1993

Honduras: presidential, 28 November 1993

Hungary: parliamentary, May 1994*

Jordan: parliamentary, 8 November 1993 [End Page 131]

Liberia: presidential/legislative, February 1994*

Mexico: presidential, 21 August 1994

Pakistan: parliamentary, 6 and 9 October 1993

Panama: presidential/legislative, 8 May 1994

South Africa: parliamentary, 27 April 1994

Swaziland: parliamentary, 11 October 1993*

Tunisia: parliamentary, April 1994*

Venezuela: presidential, 5 December 1993

* tentative

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. Most of the data for Election Watch are provided by the International Foundation for Electoral 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, 1620 1 Street, NW, Suite 611, Washington, DC 20006; (202) 828-8507. [End Page 132]