ELECTION RESULTS (October–December 2014)
Bolivia: According to official results of the presidential election held October 12, incumbent Evo Morales of the Movement to Socialism (MAS) won 61 percent of the vote, defeating his closest rival, cement ty-coon Samuel Doria Medina of the National Unity Front (UN), who won 24 percent. Jorge Quiroga of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) won 9 percent, and Juan del Granado of the progressive Movement Without Fear (MSM) and Fernando Vargas of the Green Party each received 3 percent. In elections held concurrently for the 130-seat Chamber of Deputies, MAS won 88 seats, the Democrat Unity coalition (comprising UN and the Democratic Social Movement) won 32, and the Christian Democratic Party won 9. While OAS observers commended the high level of citizen participation, they noted minor irregularities including technical and procedural difficulties that delayed the tabulation, transmission, and dissemination of results.
Bosnia-Herzegovina: In the October 12 election for the tripartite presidency, Mladen Ivanić of the opposition Party for Democratic Progress (PDP) was elected with 49 percent of the vote as the Serb member, narrowly defeating Željka Cvijanović of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), who received 48 percent. Dragan Čović of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH) was elected as the Croat member of the presidency with 52 percent of the vote, beating Martin Raguž of the Croatian Democratic Union 1990 (HDZ 1990), who won 39 percent. Bakir Izetbegović of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) was reelected with 33 percent as the Bosniak member of the presidency, defeating Fahrudin Radončić of the Union for a Better Future for the BiH (SBB BiH), who won 27 percent. In concurrent elections for the 42-seat House of Representatives (where [End Page 191] representatives from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are allocated 28 seats, while representatives from Republika Srpska have 14 seats), the SDA won 10 seats, the SNSD won 6, and the Serb Democratic Party and the Democratic Front won 5 seats each. The SBB BiH and the HDZ BiH won 4 seats each, the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina won 3 seats, and 5 other parties each won 1 seat.
Botswana: Voting for the 57 elected seats in the National Assembly was held on October 24. The incumbent Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which has been in power for more than forty years, won 37 seats, and the Assembly reelected President Ian Khama for his second five-year term. Opposition leader Duma Boko’s coalition, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), won 17 seats, and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) won 3 seats. In the months leading up to the election, election-observer groups noted a serious escalation of political violence, intimidation of opposition candidates, and abuse of state resources by the BDP. Election observers from the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) raised concerns about the “uneven reportage towards the ruling party.”
Brazil: In the October 26 presidential runoff, incumbent Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party (PT) received 52 percent of the vote, narrowly defeating her opponent, Aecio Neves of the right-leaning Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). Turnout was officially reported to be 73 percent. In the first round on October 5, Rousseff had won 42 percent, Neves 34 percent, and former environment minister Marina Silva of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) 21 percent. Marina Silva replaced her PSB running mate Eduardo Campos after he was killed in a plane crash. In concurrent elections for the 513-seat Chamber of Deputies, the ruling PT won 70 seats; the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement, 66; the PSDB, 54; the Social Democratic Party, 37; the Progressive Party, 36; the Republic Party, 34; and the PSB, 34. The remaining 182 seats went to members of 21 smaller parties.
Bulgaria: In elections held October 5 for the 240-seat National Assembly, the center-right Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), led by former prime minister Boyko Borisov, won 33 percent of the vote and 84 seats. The Socialist Party (BSP) received 15 percent and 39 seats, and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), largely supported by Bulgarians of Turkish descent, won 15 percent and 38 seats. The remaining seats went to members of five smaller parties. The elections were called following the withdrawal of the DPS from the government coalition and subsequent resignation of BSP prime minister Plamen Oresharski. Turnout was reported to be 47 percent—the lowest it has been since the fall of communism in 1989. [End Page 192]
Croatia: Presidential elections were scheduled for December 28; results will be reported in a future issue.
Latvia: In October 4 elections for the 100-seat parliament, the opposition Harmony Center (SC) party led by Riga mayor Nils Ušakovs won 24 seats. Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma’s Unity (Vienotiba) party won 23 seats. Unity’s coalition partners—the center-right Greens and Farmers’ Union (ZZS) and the National Alliance (NA)—won 21 and 17 seats, respectively. The new Latvian Association of Regions (LRA) party won 8 seats, and the new From the Heart for Latvia party won 7 seats. Turnout totaled 59 percent.
Liberia: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for December 16; results will be reported in a future issue.
Mauritius: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for December 10; results will be reported in a future issue.
Moldova: In November 30 elections for the 101-seat parliament, pro-Western parties won 55 seats, narrowly defeating pro-Russian parties, which won 46. Among the pro-Western parties, the Liberal Democratic Party (PLDM) led by former prime minister Vladimir Filat won 23 seats, the Democratic Party (PDM) received 19, and the Liberal Party (PL), 13. Among the pro-Russian parties, the Socialist Party (PSRM) won 25 seats and the Communist Party (PCRM) won 21. Shortly before the election, businessman Renato Usatîi’s pro-Russian party Patria was banned from the vote on grounds of foreign funding, which is illegal. Observers from the OSCE said the elections were well-run but criticized the last-minute decision to exclude the Patria party.
Mozambique: In the October 15 presidential election, defense minister Filipe Nyusi of the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) received 57 percent of the vote, while the Mozambican National Resistance’s (Renamo) former civil-war rebel leader Alfonso Dhalkama won 37 percent. Daviz Simango of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) won 6 percent. Renamo, Mozambique’s main opposition party, refused to accept the results, claiming widespread electoral fraud. EU observers praised the peaceful conduct of the voting, but expressed concern regarding the unbalanced nature of the electoral campaign and delays in the tabulation of results. In elections held simultaneously for the 250-seat Assembly of the Republic, Frelimo won 144 seats, maintaining its majority. Renamo won 89 seats and MDM won 17.
Namibia: In the November 28 presidential election, Prime Minister Hage Geingob of the ruling South West Africa People’s Organization [End Page 193] (SWAPO), which has been in power for 24 years, won 87 percent of the vote. His closest rivals, McHenry Venaani of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) and Hidipo Hamutenya of the opposition Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), received only 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively. In elections held the same day for the 96-seat National Assembly, preliminary results show SWAPO winning 77 seats; the DTA, 5 seats; and RDP, 3 seats. Smaller parties split the remaining 11 seats. The election was Africa’s first to use only machine voting, and while opposition parties challenged the system, raising concerns over possible vote-rigging given the lack of a paper trail, the case was dismissed by the high court before the election.
Romania: In the November 16 presidential runoff, center-right candidate Klaus Iohannis, an ethnic German who was mayor of the Transylvanian city of Sibiu, won with 55 percent, narrowly defeating Prime Minister Victor Ponta, leader of the Social Democratic Party. The runoff reversed the results of the first round, held on November 2, in which Ponta led with 40 percent and Iohannis received 30 percent. Iohannis’s victory was partly due to support from the Romanian diaspora, as the number of people voting abroad doubled between the two rounds, and overall turnout increased from 52 to 62 percent in the runoff. Despite waiting in line for hours, a large number of Romanians living overseas were unable to vote in the first round.
Tunisia: According to preliminary results of the country’s first direct presidential election, held November 23, former prime minister Beji Caïd Essebsi of the secular Nidaa Tounes (Call for Tunisia) party won 39 percent. Interim president Moncef Marzouki of the Congress for the Republic (CPR) won 33 percent, setting up a runoff election scheduled for December 31; results will be reported in a future issue. Elections were held on October 26 for the 217-seat Assembly of the Representatives of the People. Nidaa Tounes won 38 percent and 86 seats, besting its main rival, the Islamist Renaissance Party (Ennahda), led by Rachid Ghannouchi, which won 28 percent and 68 seats. The Free Patriotic Union won 16 seats and the Popular Front coalition won 15. The remaining seats went to members of smaller parties.
Ukraine: In early elections held October 26 for the 450-seat parliament—the Verkhovna Rada—Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front party and President Petro Poroshenko’s pro-European bloc each won 22 percent. The pro-Western “Self-Help” (Samopomich) party led by Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi received 11 percent; the pro-Russian opposition bloc—led by allies of former president Viktor Yanukovych—received 9 percent; Oleh Lyashko’s populist Radical Party won 7 percent; and the social-democratic Fatherland (Batkivshchyna) [End Page 194] party of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko won 6 percent. Elections did not take place in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March, nor did they occur in eastern areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists (Donetsk and Luhansk), leaving vacant a number of seats. OSCE observers praised the conduct of the elections, which took place under “increasingly challenging political and security circumstances.”
Uruguay: In the November 30 presidential runoff, Tabaré Vázquez of the ruling Broad Front (FA) won 53 percent of the vote, defeating the center-right National Party’s Luis Lacalle Pou—son of former president Luis Alberto Lacalle. In the first round, held October 26, Vázquez won 49 percent, failing to avoid a runoff. In elections held concurrently for the 99-seat Chamber of Representatives, the FA won 50 seats; the National Party won 32 seats; the PC won 13 seats; and smaller parties won the remaining 4 seats. Observers from the Organization of American States praised the conduct of the elections and applauded candidates on the high level of political debate during the campaign.
UPCOMING ELECTIONS (January–December 2015)
Argentina: presidential, 25 October 2015; legislative, 31 October 2015
Azerbaijan: parliamentary, 8 November 2015
Belarus: presidential, 20 November 2015
Benin: legislative, 31 March 2015
Burkina Faso: presidential/parliamentary, 30 November 2015
Burma: legislative, 7 November 2015
Burundi: presidential, 31 December 2015; legislative, 31 July 2015
Chad: legislative, 31 December 2015
Comoros: legislative, 25 January 2015
Côte d’Ivoire: presidential, 31 October 2015
Egypt: parliamentary, 31 March 2015
El Salvador: legislative, 31 December 2015
Estonia: parliamentary, 1 March 2015 [End Page 195]
Guatemala: presidential/legislative, 13 September 2015
Guinea: presidential, 31 December 2015
Haiti: presidential, 31 December 2015
Mexico: legislative, 5 July 2015
Niger: presidential/parliamentary, 31 December 2015
Nigeria: presidential/legislative, 14 February 2015
Poland: presidential, 17 May 2015; parliamentary, 31 October 2015
Russia: legislative, 31 December 2015
South Sudan: presidential/legislative, 9 July 2015
Sri Lanka: presidential, 8 January 2015
Sudan: presidential/legislative, 2 April 2015
Suriname: parliamentary, 31 May 2015
Tajikistan: parliamentary, by March 2015
Togo: presidential, 31 March 2015
Trinidad and Tobago: parliamentary, 31 May 2015
Turkey: parliamentary, 13 June 2015
Yemen: presidential/legislative, 28 February 2015
Zambia: presidential, 20 January 2015
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 196]
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