ELECTION RESULTS (September-December 2004)
Afghanistan: In the first free presidential election in the country’s history, held on October 9, transitional president Hamid Karzai won 55.4 percent of the vote. Yunous Qanooni came in second with 16.3 percent. For more detailed information on this election, see Larry Goodson’s article on pp. 24-38 of this issue.
Botswana: Elections to the 57-member National Assembly were held on October 30. The incumbent Botswana Democratic Party, which has been in power for more than forty years, won 44 seats; the Botswana National Front, 12 seats; and the Botswana Congress Party, one seat. International observers declared the election free and fair.
Czech Republic: In two rounds of elections for one-third of the 81-seat Senate held on November 5-6 and 12-13, President Václav Klaus’s opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) won 18 seats, giving the party close to an absolute majority in the Senate. The Christian and Democratic Union-Czech People’s Party won 3 seats, and six other parties won one seat each. The ruling Social Democratic Party of Prime Minister Stanislav Gross failed to win a single seat. Voter turnout was the lowest in Czech Senate-election history: 29 percent in the first round, and less than 19 percent in the second round.
Ghana: In a December 7 presidential election, incumbent John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party was reelected to a second and final term with 53 percent. His main opponent, John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress, received 44 percent. Parliamentary elections were held on the same day; results will be reported in a future issue.
Indonesia: In a September 20 presidential runoff, Democratic Party candidate Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won nearly 61 percent of the vote, defeating incumbent president Megawati Sukarnoputri of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle. In the July 5 first round, Yudhoyono had won 33 percent and Sukarnoputri, 26 percent. [End Page 175]
Kazakhstan: In elections for the 77-seat parliament on September 19, the ruling Otan (“Fatherland”) party won 42 seats and the Agrarian-Industrial Union of Workers, 11 seats. The remaining 24 seats went to smaller parties and independent candidates. International observers reported that the election fell short of international standards for fairness.
Lithuania: In October 11 elections to the 141-seat Seimas, 39 seats went to the newly founded populist Labour Party, 25 to the Homeland Union, and 20 to the ruling Social Democratic Party. The Liberal and Centre Union received 18 seats, the New Union (Social Liberals) of impeached president Rolandas Paksas received 11, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Union of Farmers’ and New Democratic Parties received 10 seats each, and the Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles won 2 seats. The remainder went to independent candidates.
Mozambique: Parliamentary and presidential elections were held on December 1-2. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Namibia: In November 15-16 parliamentary elections, outgoing president Sam Nujoma’s South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) won 55 of the 72 seats. The Congress of Democrats won 5 seats; the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), 4 seats; the National Unity Democratic Organisation and the United Democratic Front, 3 seats each; and the Republican Party and the Monitor Action Group, one seat each. SWAPO candidate Hifikepunye Pohamba won the concurrent presidential balloting with a resounding 76 percent of the vote. Turnout neared 85 percent, and international observers called the elections free and fair.
Niger: In a December 4 presidential runoff, incumbent Mamadou Tandja of the ruling National Movement for a Developing Society-Victory was reelected with 65.5 percent of the vote, while opposition candidate Mahamadou Isshoufou of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism-Tarayya received 34.4 percent. In the November 16 first round, Tandja and Isshoufou had won 40.7 and 24.6 percent, respectively, while former president Mahamane Ousmane of the Democratic and Social Convention-Rahama finished third with 17.4 percent. Parliamentary elections were held on December 4; results will be reported in a future issue.
Romania: In a December 12 presidential runoff, Bucharest mayor Traian Basescu of the center-right Justice and Truth Alliance (DA) defeated Prime Minister Adrian Nastase of the ruling left-wing Social Democratic Party (PSD) by 51 to 49 percent. In the November 28 first round, Nastase had bested Basescu 41 to 34 percent but had failed to win a majority. In polling held the same day to fill the 143-seat Senate and 346-seat Chamber of Deputies, the PSD-Humanist Party of Romania coalition captured 57 Senate seats and elected 132 deputies; the DA won 49 Senate seats and 113 lower-house seats; the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party won 21 Senate and 47 lower-house seats; and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania won 10 Senate and 22 lower-house seats. OSCE observers expressed some “procedural concerns” about the November 28 elections. [End Page 176]
Slovenia: In October 3 elections to the 90-seat National Assembly, the Social Democratic Party (SDS) won 29 seats, almost doubling its vote and coming to power for the first time since the country’s independence. The ruling Liberal Democracy of Slovenia won 23 seats, the United List of Social Democrats won 10, and the New Slovenia-Christian People’s Party won 9. The remaining 19 seats were divided among four smaller parties. SDS formed a coalition government with party leader Janez Jansa as prime minister.
Taiwan: Parliamentary elections were held December 11. Results will be reported in an upcoming issue.
Tunisia: Incumbent president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was reelected to a fourth term on October 24, with 94.5 percent of the vote in an election boycotted by the two major opposition groups and condemned by the international community. In concurrent parliamentary elections, Ben Ali’s Democratic Constitutional Assembly won 152 of the 189 seats, the maximum allowed under a constitutional provision prohibiting any party from holding more than 80 percent of the legislative seats.
Ukraine: Mass protests and evidence of grave voting irregularities led the Supreme Court on December 3 to nullify the results of a November 21 presidential runoff, in which Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych had been announced the winner despite exit-poll reports of a clear lead for opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. In the October 31 first round, which had been equally problematic, Yushchenko had outpolled Yanukovych by 0.5 percent. A repeat runoff will be held December 26; results will be reported in a future issue.
Uruguay: In presidential polling on October 31, Tabaré Vázquez of the leftist Progressive Encounter (EP) won 52 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a second round. Jorge Larranaga of the Blanco Party (PN) won 35 percent of the vote, while Guillermo Stirling of the ruling Colorado Party (PC) came in third with 11 percent. In concurrent elections to the bicameral Congreso, the EP won 53 of the 99 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 17 of the 30 seats in the Senate. PN and PC won 34 and 10 seats, respectively, in the lower house, and 10 and 3 seats, respectively, in the Senate.
UPCOMING ELECTIONS (January-December 2005)
Afghanistan: parliamentary, April 2005
Albania: parliamentary, June 2005
Azerbaijan: parliamentary, November 2005
Bulgaria: parliamentary, June 2005
Burkina Faso: presidential, November 2005
Burundi: parliamentary, March 2005; presidential, April 2005 [End Page 177]
Cape Verde: parliamentary, December 2005
Central African Republic: presidential and parliamentary, 30 January 2005
Chile: presidential and legislative, December 2005
Côte d’Ivoire: presidential and parliamentary, 2005
Croatia: presidential, 2 January 2005
Dominica: parliamentary, 2005
Egypt: presidential, October 2005; parliamentary, November 2005
Ethiopia: parliamentary, 15 May 2005
Gabon: presidential, 2005
Haiti: presidential and parliamentary, November 2005
Honduras: presidential and legislative, November 2005
Iran: presidential, 13 May 2005; parliamentary, 2005
Iraq: parliamentary, 30 January 2005
Kyrgyzstan: parliamentary, 27 February 2005; presidential, 30 October 2005
Liberia: presidential and parliamentary, 14 October 2005
Mauritius: parliamentary, September 2005
Moldova: presidential and parliamentary, 2005
Palestinian Authority: presidential, 9 January 2005
Poland: parliamentary, September 2005; presidential, October 2005
Senegal: presidential, 7 February 2005
Singapore: presidential, August 2005
Solomon Islands: parliamentary, December 2005
Sri Lanka: presidential, December 2005
Suriname: presidential and legislative, May 2005
Tanzania: presidential and parliamentary, October 2005
Thailand: parliamentary, 13 March 2005
Venezuela: legislative, July 2005
Zimbabwe: parliamentary, March 2005
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 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, visit www.ifes.org.