ELECTION RESULTS (December 2007–March 2008)
Armenia: In February 19 presidential elections, Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) was elected in the first round with 53 percent of the vote. Former president Levon Ter-Petrosian finished second with 22 percent. Thousands of Ter-Petrosian’s supporters protested, claiming fraud, and a police crackdown took place, but OSCE observers declared the election “mostly in line with the country’s international commitments.”
Barbados: In parliamentary elections on January 15 for the 30-member House of Assembly, the opposition Democratic Labour Party, led by David Thompson, won 53 percent of the vote and 20 seats, defeating Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s Barbados Labour Party, which won 47 percent and 10 seats.
Belize: In parliamentary elections on February 7 for the 31-seat House of Representatives, the opposition Democratic Party, led by Dean Barrow, won 25 seats, defeating Prime Minister Said Musa’s People’s United Party, which won six seats.
Bhutan: The country’s first-ever elections to the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, were scheduled to be held on March 24; results will be reported in a future issue.
Croatia: After new elections for seats not decided in November 25 parliamentary elections, the balance of seats in the 153-seat House of Representatives was as follows: the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has 66 seats, the Social Democratic Party has 56 seats, the Social Liberal–Peasant Party alliance (HSS-HSLS) has 8 seats, and the Croatian People’s Party–Liberal Democrats alliance has 7 seats. The governing coalition includes HDZ and HSS-HSLS. [End Page 179]
Djibouti: In parliamentary elections on February 8 for the 65-seat National Assembly, candidates loyal to an alliance led by President Ismail Omar Guelleh’s Union for a Presidential Majority won all 65 seats. The opposition, led by the Union for a Democratic Change, boycotted the election.
Georgia: On January 5, President Mikhail Saakashvili of the National Movement–Democrats bloc was reelected in the first round with 53 percent of the vote. Levan Gachechiladze finished second with 27 percent. The opposition claimed fraud, but international observers said the election was free and fair.
Iran: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for March 14; results will be reported in a future issue.
Kenya: According to the official results of disputed presidential elections on December 27, President Mwai Kibaki of the Party of National Unity (PNU) was reelected with 47 percent of the vote, while challenger Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) won 44 percent. Odinga contested the results, and EU election observers said that balloting fell short of “international standards.” Kibaki was sworn in on December 30, leading to violent clashes that claimed more than 1,500 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. A power-sharing agreement was reached in February, making Odinga prime minister (a new position). In legislative elections, also on December 27, for the 210 elected seats in the National Assembly, official results state that the ODM won 99 seats and the PNU won 43. The ODM–Kenya won 16 seats, the Kenya African National Union won 14, and Safina won 5.
Kyrgyzstan: In parliamentary elections on December 16, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s Ak Jol (Bright Path) party won 71 of the 90 seats in the Supreme Council. Because of last-minute rule changes, Ata-Meken (Fatherland), the main opposition party, won no seats despite winning more than 8 percent of the vote. Domestic monitoring group Taza Shailoo said that “conduct of the parliamentary elections did not correspond to fundamental international standards for conducting honest, free, fair, and transparent elections.”
Malaysia: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for March 8; results will be reported in a future issue.
Pakistan: In February 18 elections for the 272 elected seats in the National Parliament, two long-established parties opposed to President Pervez Musharraf finished first and second. Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by her widower Asif Ali Zardari, won 89 seats, while former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) won 66 seats. The pro-Musharraf PML–Quaid-e-Azam [End Page 180] won 42 seats, and its ally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, won 19. The Awami National Party won 10 seats, and the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal alliance won 6. The PPP and PML-N announced that they would form a coalition government.
Russia: In the March 2 presidential election, the candidate backed by Vladimir Putin, Dmitri Medvedev of the United Russia Party, won with 70 percent of the vote. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov won 18 percent, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party won 9 percent. The OSCE declined to monitor the election due to the restrictions mandated by Russia. The Council of Europe’s observer delegation concluded that the election lacked “freedom.”
South Korea: In the presidential election held on December 19, Lee Myung-bak of the Grand National Party won with 49 percent of the vote. Chung Dong-young of the ruling United New Democratic Party won 26 percent, and independent candidate Lee Hoi-chang won 25 percent.
Serbia: In first-round presidential polling on January 20, Tomislav Nikoliæ of the Serbian Radical Party won 39.6 percent of the vote, while pro-Western incumbent Boris Tadiæ of the Democratic Party won 35.4 percent. Tadiæ won the February 3 runoff with 50.5 percent of the vote, while Nikoliæ took 47.7 percent.
Taiwan: In elections on January 12 for the 113-seat Legislative Yuan, the opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) won 54 percent and 81 seats, while President Chen Shui-bian’s Democratic Progressive Party won 38 percent and 27 seats. Presidential elections were scheduled to be held on March 22; results will be reported in a future issue.
Thailand: In elections on December 23 for the 480-seat House of Representatives, the People Power Party (PPP), which claims loyalty to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, won 233 seats. The Democratic Party (PP), led by Abhisit Vejjajiva, won 165 seats. The Chart Thai party won 39 seats, and the Puea Pandin won 24 seats. Voter turnout was higher than 70 percent.
Zimbabwe: Presidential and parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held on March 29; results will be reported in a future issue.
(April 2008–March 2009)
Angola: legislative, 5 September 2008
Azerbaijan: presidential, October 2008 [End Page 181]
Cambodia: parliamentary, 27 July 2008
Côte d’Ivoire: presidential/parliamentary, by June 2008
Dominican Republic: presidential, 16 May 2008
El Salvador: presidential/legislative, March 2009
Georgia: parliamentary, May 2008
Ghana: presidential/legislative, December 2008
Grenada: parliamentary, November 2008
Guinea: parliamentary, by December 2008
Guinea-Bissau: parliamentary, by November 2008
Lithuania: parliamentary, October 2008
Maldives: presidential, October 2008
Mongolia: parliamentary, June 2008
Montenegro: presidential, 6 April 2008
Nepal: parliamentary, 10 April 2008
Palau: presidential/legislative, November 2008
Paraguay: presidential/legislative, 20 April 2008
Romania: parliamentary, 28 November 2008
Rwanda: parliamentary, September 2008
Slovenia: parliamentary, October 2008
South Korea: parliamentary, 9 April 2008
Swaziland: parliamentary, October 2008
Tonga: parliamentary, 24 April 2008
Vanuatu: parliamentary, July 2008
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. 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