ELECTION RESULTS (June–September 2013)
Albania: In June 23 elections for the 140-seat Assembly, the opposition Socialist Party’s coalition, Alliance for a European Albania, won 58 percent of the vote and 83 seats. The Alliance for Employment, Welfare, and Integration—the coalition led by the Democratic Party of outgoing prime minister Sali Berisha, the country’s first postcommunist president—won 39 percent of the vote and the remaining 57 seats. The remaining votes went to smaller parties that did not clear the threshold for representation. Socialist Party chair Edi Rama became prime minister. Berisha conceded defeat days after the elections but later demanded a recount in two districts. A preliminary statement by OSCE observers praised the level of citizen participation and characterized the elections as “competitive” but noted that “the atmosphere of distrust between the two main political forces tainted the electoral environment and challenged the administration of the entire electoral process.”
Bhutan: In July 13 elections for the 47-member National Assembly, the opposition People’s Democratic Party of Sangay Ngedup, former chair of the Council of Ministers, won 55 percent of the vote and 32 seats. Prime Minister Jigme Thinley’s Peace and Prosperity Party won 45 percent of the vote and the remaining 15 seats. The election commission reported a turnout of 66 percent.
Cambodia: In July 28 elections for the 123-seat National Assembly, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party won 68 seats, down from 90, and the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) won 55 seats. The CNRP’s leader, Sam Rainsy, alleged fraud and claimed that it had actually won 63 seats. Rainsy had returned to the country from exile in July after a royal pardon for allegedly spreading disinformation [End Page 175] and forging official documents, but was barred from running for office by the National Election Committee. He demanded an independent investigation of the election results, called for demonstrations that drew tens of thousands to the streets of Phnom Penh, and threatened a CNRP boycott of the parliament.
Cameroon: Legislative elections were scheduled for September 30; results will be reported in a future issue.
Guinea: Legislative elections were scheduled for September 28; results will be reported in a future issue.
Iran: In the June 14 presidential election, cleric and former chief of the national-security council Hassan Rouhani won 52 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff. Tehran mayor Mohammad Ghalibaf received 17 percent; secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili received 12 percent; and former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Mohsen Rezai received 11 percent. Two other candidates split the remaining votes. Prior to the election, an unelected committee of six lawyers and six religious officials approved a slate of eight candidates (two of whom subsequently withdrew) out of a pool of more than 680 who had registered. The officially announced turnout was 73 percent.
Kuwait: In July 27 ballotting for the 50-member National Assembly—the country’s third polling in a year and a half—tribal leaders won 24 seats, Shiites won 8 seats (down from 17 in the previous assembly), and the National Democratic Alliance, a liberal bloc that had boycotted the previous elections, won 3 seats. Kuwait does not allow political parties. The elections were called after the Constitutional Court dissolved the previous assembly due to a procedural flaw in the conduct of the December 2012 elections. Parts of the opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood, continued their boycott in protest of a recent change in the electoral law that reduces the number of votes granted to each eligible voter from four to one. After the elections, Kuwait’s emir reappointed Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family, as prime minister.
Maldives: According to provisional results of the September 7 presidential election, Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic Party, the former president who resigned in February 2012 in what he claims was a coup, received 45 percent of the vote; Abdulla Yameen of the Progressive Party, whose half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom held the presidency for thirty years, received 25 percent; and former finance minister Qasim Ibrahim of the Republican Party received 24 percent. Nasheed’s successor, Mohamed Waheed Hassan, an independent candidate supported [End Page 176] by the People’s Party, received 5 percent. Because no candidate garnered a majority of the vote, a runoff election between Nasheed and Yameen was scheduled for September 28; results will be reported in a future issue.
Mali: In the August 11 presidential runoff, former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of the Front for Democracy and the Republic defeated former finance minister Soumaïla Cissé of the Union for the Republic and Democracy with 78 percent of the vote. In the first round, held on July 28, Keïta received 39 percent of the vote, Cissé received 19 percent, and Dramane Dembélé of the Alliance for Democracy in Mali received 10 percent. None of the other 25 candidates received more than 5 percent. All but two of the candidates eliminated in the first round subsequently endorsed Keïta. Despite accusing his opponent of ballot-stuffing, Cissé brought his family to Keïta’s house to concede defeat.
Mongolia: In the June 26 presidential election, incumbent Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj of the Democratic Party received just over 50 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff. Badmaanyambuugiyn Bat-Erdene of the Mongolian People’s Party received 42 percent, and Natsagiyn Udval of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, the country’s first woman presidential candidate, received 7 percent.
Rwanda: Legislative elections were scheduled for September 16; results will be reported in a future issue.
Swaziland: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for September 20; results will be reported in a future issue.
Togo: In July 25 elections for the 91-seat National Assembly, President Faure Gnassingbé’s Union for the Republic, formed in 2012 to replace the Rally of the Togolese People, won 62 seats. The opposition groups Let’s Save Togo and the Rainbow Coalition won 19 and 6 seats, respectively. The Union of Forces for Change, a former opposition party that joined the government in 2010, won 3 seats. An independent candidate won the final seat. Opposition parties filed appeals calling the results fraudulent, but these were ultimately dismissed by the constitutional court. The elections had originally been scheduled for October 2012 but were thrice delayed due to mass protests against the electoral law and opposition threats to boycott.
Zimbabwe: According to official results of the presidential election held on July 31, longtime president Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF won with 61 percent of the vote, defeating Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), who won 34 percent of [End Page 177] the vote. Three other candidates split the remaining votes. Elections for the bicameral legislature were held concurrently. In the 210-seat House of Assembly, ZANU-PF won 160 seats, the MDC won 49, and an independent candidate won the final seat. In the 80-seat Senate, ZANUPF won 37 of the 60 seats decided by popular elections; Tsvangirai’s branch of the MDC won 21 seats; and the branch of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube won 2 seats. The domestic election-observation group Zimbabwe Election Support Network recognized the peaceful character of the elections but called their credibility “seriously compromised by a systematic effort to disenfranchise an estimated million voters.” Southern African Development Community (SADC) observers raised similar concerns but ultimately called the elections “generally credible.” SADC member Botswana, however, called for an independent audit of the elections. The MDC initially filed a legal challenge with the constitutional court, citing many irregularities, alleging fraud, and calling for the nullification of the elections. It withdrew its challenge, however, claiming that it was not being allowed a fair hearing.
UPCOMING ELECTIONS (October 2013–September 2014)
Afghanistan: presidential, 5 April 2014
Algeria: presidential, April 2014
Argentina: legislative, 27 October 2013
Azerbaijan: presidential, 9 October 2013
Bangladesh: parliamentary, by 24 January 2014
Chile: presidential/legislative, 17 November 2013
Colombia: legislative, 9 March 2014; presidential, 25 May 2014
Costa Rica: presidential/legislative, 2 February 2014
Czech Republic: parliamentary, 25 October 2013
Dominican Republic: legislative, May 2014
El Salvador: presidential, 2 February 2014
Georgia: presidential, 27 October 2013 [End Page 178]
Guinea-Bissau: presidential/legislative, 24 November 2013
Honduras: presidential/legislative, 24 November 2013
Hungary: parliamentary, April 2014
India: parliamentary, by May 2014
Indonesia: parliamentary, 9 April 2014; presidential, 9 July 2014
Iraq: parliamentary, April 2014
Lithuania: presidential, May 2014
Macedonia: presidential, March 2014
Madagascar: presidential, 25 October 2013; parliamentary, 20 December 2013
Malawi: presidential/parliamentary, 20 May 2014
Maldives: parliamentary, by May 2014
Mauritania: parliamentary, 23 November 2013
Nepal: constituent assembly, 19 November 2013
Panama: presidential/legislative, 4 May 2014
Slovakia: presidential, by April 2014
Solomon Islands: parliamentary, August 2014
South Africa: parliamentary, by July 2014
Tajikistan: presidential, 6 November 2013
Thailand: senate, March 2014
Turkey: presidential, August 2014
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. [End Page 179]