Election Watch

Issue Date April 2021
Volume 32
Issue 2
Page Numbers 184–86
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(October–December 2020)

Central African Republic: On January 18, the Constitutional Court upheld the results of the disputed 27 December 2020 presidential election. President Faustin-Archange Touadéra secured a second term with 53.9 percent of the vote to former prime minister Anicet-Georges Dologuélé’s 21 percent and former prime minister Martin Ziguélé’s 7.5 percent. Former president François Bozizé, accused of crimes against humanity, was not allowed to stand for election. While he publicly accepted the outcome, a coalition of armed groups supporting him called off a 2019 peace accord, forced 53 percent of polling stations to close, and displaced more than 55,000 civilians by election day. In February, Bozizé agreed to lead the coalition. Opposition candidates unsuccessfully pleaded for a rerun. In concurrent elections for the 140-seat lower house of Parliament, only 22 were won outright. Results were annulled in thirteen districts and violence stopped polling in fifty others. A second legislative round was held March 14; results will be reported in a future issue.

Ecuador: In the February 7 presidential election, none of the candidates surpassed the 50 percent needed for a first-round victory. A runoff is to be held April 11 between the top two vote-getters: former minister Andrés Arauz, who won 32.7 percent, and Guillermo Lasso, who won 19.7 percent. Yaku Pérez, who ran a close third with 19.4 percent, alleged fraud and led protests in Quito. In concurrent elections for the unicameral National Assembly, Arauz’s Union for Hope, a successor to former president Rafael Correa’s party, won 32.2 percent of the vote. Pérez’s indigenous Pachakutik party obtained 16.8 percent. Lasso’s CREO movement received 9.7 percent. Turnout for both rounds was 81 percent.

El Salvador: Founded by President Nayib Bukele in 2018, the New [End Page 184] Ideas party swept the February 28 legislative elections, winning 57.8 percent of the vote and 56 of the 84 seats in the unicameral Legislative Assembly. The two dominant post–civil war parties, the Nationalist Republican Alliance and Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, won 12 percent and 14 seats and 6.9 percent and 4 seats, respectively. Other parties took the remaining 10 seats. Turnout was 50.3 percent.

Kazakhstan: Polls for the 98 elected seats in the 107-seat lower house were held January 10. Former president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s People’s Democratic Party “Nur Otan” claimed to win 71.1 percent of the vote and 76 seats. Parties loyal to the government received the remaining 22 seats: The Democratic Party of Kazakhstan “Ak Zhol” won 11 percent and 12 seats while the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan won 9 percent and 10 seats. The opposition boycotted the vote, and the OSCE reported that the election “lacked genuine competition.” Turnout was 63.2 percent.

Kosovo: Snap elections for the 120-seat unicameral Assembly were held February 14 after the Constitutional Court ruled in December that the sitting government had come to power illegally. Ex-premier Albin Kurti’s Movement for Self-Determination won 50.3 percent of the vote and 58 seats. Former foreign minister Enver Hoxhaj’s Democratic Party of Kosovo won 17.1 percent and 19 seats, while Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti’s Democratic League of Kosovo obtained 12.7 percent and 15 seats. Smaller parties won the remaining 28 seats. Turnout was 48.8 percent.

Kyrgyzstan: An early presidential contest was held January 10 after the October resignation of President Sooronbay Jeenbekov. Sadyr Japarov of the party known as Mekenchil (Patriotic) won 79.2 percent of the vote; Adakham Madumarov of United Kyrgyzstan won 6.84 percent; and independent Babur Tolbayev won 2.4 percent. International observers called the election “generally well-run.”

Niger: Mohamed Bazoum, an ally of outgoing incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou, was declared the winner of the February 21 presidential runoff with 55.8 percent of the vote. The other contender, ex-president Mahamane Ousmane, officially received 44.3 percent but has charged fraud and claims that he won with 50.3 percent. In the December 27 first round, Bazoum led Ousmane 39.3 to 17 percent. In November, opposition candidate Hama Amadou had been blocked from running. Following the runoff, Ousmane’s supporters clashed with security forces. International civil society groups reported internet restrictions. Issoufou is due to step down on April 2, marking the first time Niger’s presidency [End Page 185] has changed hands through an election. In December 27 elections for the unicameral, 171-seat National Assembly, Bazoum’s incumbent Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism won 37 percent and 80 seats. Amadou’s Nigerien Democratic Movement for an African Federation won 8.6 percent and 19 seats. Ousmane’s Democratic and Republican Renewal party won 4.6 percent and 7 seats, and other parties took the remaining 65 seats. The Economic Community of West African States called the balloting “credible and transparent.”

Uganda: In a flawed January 14 election, long-ruling president Yoweri Museveni won a sixth term with a claimed 58.4 percent of the vote. His main opponent, musician and legislator Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, won 34.1 percent. In voting held the same day for the 529-member unicameral Parliament, Museveni’s National Resistance Movement won 310 seats while Wine’s National Unity Platform won 61 and smaller parties took the remaining 158. Under the guise of pandemic prevention, the government restricted in-person opposition rallies and detained Wine for two days. Social media were blocked on polling day. Presidential turnout was 59.4 percent. For more on Uganda’s election, see the article by Rita Abrahamsen and Gerald Bareebe on pp. 90–104 above.

(April–June 2021)

Albania: parliamentary, 25 April 2021

Bulgaria: parliamentary, 4 April 2021

Cape Verde: parliamentary, 18 April 2021; presidential, 17 October 2021

Chad: presidential, 11 April 2021; legislative, 24 October 2021

Ethiopia: parliamentary, 5 June 2021

Mexico: legislative, 6 June 2021

Peru: presidential/legislative, 11 April 2021


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