ELECTION RESULTS (October–December 2015)
Argentina: In the November 22 presidential runoff, Mauricio Macri of the center-right We Can Change party won with 51 percent, narrowly defeating center-left candidate Daniel Scioli of the Front for Victory (FPV). In the first round of voting held on October 25, Scioli led with 37 percent, Macri received 34 percent, and Sergio Massa of United for a New Alternative (UNA) received 21 percent. Outgoing president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (FPV) was constitutionally barred from running for a third term. Elections were held concurrently for Argentina’s bicameral legislature. Of the 130 seats up for election in the 257-seat Chamber of Deputies, the FPV won 60 seats, the We Can Change alliance won 40, the UNA won 14, and the remaining 16 seats went to members of smaller parties. In the 72-seat Senate, 24 seats were up for election. Of these, the FPV won 13, We Can Change won 6, and UNA won 1.
Azerbaijan: In disputed November 1 elections for the 125-seat National Assembly, President Ilham Aliyev’s New Azerbaijan Party won 70 seats. Independent candidates aligned with the ruling party won 43 seats, while eleven small opposition parties split the remaining 12 seats. The leading opposition parties, including the Musavat party, boycotted the vote, alleging massive violations in the run-up to the election. International observers condemned the government’s “crackdown on independent and critical voices” and refrained from sending observer missions due to the lack of a free and fair electoral environment.
Belarus: In the October 11 presidential election, longtime incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka won 83 percent. Mainstream opposition leaders were barred from running. The only opposition candidate who participated, activist Tatianna Karatkevich, received just 4 percent and was disowned by almost all opposition parties except her own Tell the Truth movement. The [End Page 175] “against all” option received 6 percent. Election observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) stated that “significant problems, particularly during the counting and tabulation, undermined the integrity of the election.”
Belize: In November 4 elections for the 31-seat House of Representatives, Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s United Democratic Party won its third consecutive election, obtaining 51 percent and 19 seats. The People’s United Party won 48 percent and 12 seats.
Burkina Faso: After a year-long transition following the overthrow of longtime incumbent Blaise Compaoré, presidential and parliamentary elections were held on November 29. Former prime minister and former president of the National Assembly Roch Marc Christian Kaboré—who left the ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) to found the new opposition People’s Movement for Progress party (MPP)—won 53 percent. Former finance minister Zéphirin Diabré of the liberal Union for Progress and Reform (UPC) finished second with 30 percent. Twelve other candidates split the remaining votes. In concurrent elections for the 127-seat National Assembly, MPP won 55 seats; UPC, 33; CDP, 18; and the Union for Rebirth–Sankarist Movement, 5. The remaining 16 seats went to members of smaller parties.
Burma: On November 8, the country held elections for the bicameral legislature. In the 440-seat House of Representatives, 330 seats were up for election (the remaining 110 seats are reserved for the military). Of these, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won 255 seats, defeating the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which received 29 seats. The Arakan National Party (ANP), which represents the Rakhine minority, and the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) each won 12 seats, while the remaining 22 seats went to independent candidates and members of smaller parties. In the 224-seat House of Nationalities, 168 seats were up for election while the remaining 56 seats were reserved for the military. The NLD won 135 seats; USDP, 11 seats; ANP, 10 seats; SNLD, 3 seats; and the remaining 9 seats went to independent candidates and members of smaller parties. The legislature will vote to elect the country’s president in March. Aung San Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from running for the presidency because her sons are both British citizens.
Côte d’Ivoire: In the October 25 presidential election, incumbent Alassane Ouattara, leader of the Rally of Republicans party (RDR), won 84 percent, besting his closest opponent, Pascal Affi N’Guessan of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), who received 9 percent. Kouadio Konan Bertin, who ran as an independent, received 4 percent. Although election observers said the poll was free and fair, three candidates complained of a lack of transparency and decided to withdraw from the race. [End Page 176]
Croatia: Elections held November 8 for the 151-seat Parliament ended in a virtual tie between the ruling center-left Croatia Is Growing coalition, headed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and the center-right Patriotic Coalition, headed by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). The SDP-led coalition won 39 percent and 59 seats, including 3 seats received by its partner, the regional Istrian Democratic Assembly party. The HDZ’s Patriotic Coalition also won 39 percent and 59 seats, including 3 seats representing the Croatian diaspora. The Bridge of Independent Lists (Most Nezavisnih Lista), a newly formed alliance of right-leaning independent candidates, won 19 seats. As of this writing, negotiations to form a governing coalition were still ongoing.
Egypt: Parliamentary elections for the House of Representatives were held in two rounds between October 17 and December 2. Of the 568 directly elected seats, 120 are allocated to party-based lists, and the remaining 448 are contested by individual candidates in geographic constituencies. The For the Love of Egypt coalition, which is supportive of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and includes the New Wafd Party and the Free Egyptians Party, won all 120 party list seats. Runoff elections for individual candidates are scheduled through December 16, and final results will be reported in a future issue. As many as 84 of the 100 registered parties decided to boycott the election, alleging an unfair electoral atmosphere. Both rounds witnessed extremely low voter turnout, and reports by election observers indicated that vote-buying and electoral violations were widespread.
Guatemala: In the October 25 presidential runoff, former comedian Jimmy Morales of the National Convergence Front (FCN) won 67 percent of the vote, besting former first lady Sandra Torres of the center-left National Unity for Hope (UNE), who received 33 percent. In the first round of voting, held September 6, Morales received 24 percent; Torres and Manuel Baldizón of the Renewed Democratic Liberty party each won 20 percent, but Baldizón withdrew from the runoff. In the weeks leading up to the first round, President Otto Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party, who was not a candidate for reelection, was forced to resign following a corruption scandal.
Guinea: In the country’s second democratic presidential election, held on October 11, incumbent Alpha Condé of the Rally of the Guinean People won 58 percent, managing to avoid a runoff. His closest competitor, former prime minister Cellou Dealin Diallo of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, received 31 percent, while former prime minister Sidya Touré of the Union of Republican Forces received 6 percent. Five other candidates split the remaining votes. Diallo and Touré filed a complaint alleging fraud, but the Constitutional Court upheld the results after finding no evidence of irregularities.
Haiti: In the October 25 first-round presidential election, President Michel Martelly’s handpicked successor, Jovenel Moïse of the ruling Haitian [End Page 177] Tèt Kale (Bald Head) Party (PHTK), won 33 percent. Former government official Jude Célestin of the Alternative League for Progress and Haitian Emancipation (LAPEH) finished second with 25 percent, setting up a runoff scheduled for December 27; results will be reported in a future issue. Although international observers praised the peaceful conduct of the elections, eight candidates—including Célestin—challenged the results, alleging “systematic, massive fraud.” The group of eight candidates demanded an independent investigation to examine claims of fraud, called for demonstrations that drew thousand to the streets of Port-au-Prince, and pressed for changes within the Electoral Council and the police. In concurrent second-round legislative elections for the remaining 91 seats in the 99-seat Chamber of Deputies, PHTK won 22 seats; the Vérité (Truth) party, 14; Convention for Democratic Unity, 9; Struggling People’s Organization, 7; Famni Lavalas, 5; and LAPEH, 4; the remaining seats went to members of smaller parties.
Kyrgyzstan: In October 4 elections for the 120-seat Supreme Council, President Almazbek Atambayev’s Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) won 38 seats, and the opposition Respublika Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) party led by Kamchybek Tashiev won 28. The newly formed Kyrgyzstan party, led by former Respublika politician Kanatbek Isaev, won 18 seats, and the Onuguu (Progress) party, led by Bakyt Torobayev, won 13 seats. The newly formed Bir Bol (United) party led by former Respublika MP Altynbek Sulaimanov—which supports a return from a parliamentary to a presidential system—won 12 seats, while the center-left Socialist Party (Ata-Meken) won 11 seats.
Poland: In October 25 elections for the 460-seat Sejm, the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party of newly elected president Andrzej Sebastian Duda won 38 percent of the vote and an absolute majority of 235 seats. Incumbent prime minister Ewa Kopacz’s center-right Civic Platform (PO) party fell to 138 seats. Kukiz’15, the new protest party led by former presidential candidate Paweł Kukiz, won 42 seats; the centrist-liberal Modern party won 28 seats; the Polish People’s Party (PSL)—a PO coalition partner—16 seats; and the German Minority party won 1 seat. In concurrent elections for the 100-seat Senate, PiS won 61 seats; PO, 34 seats; independents, 4 seats; and PSL, 1 seat.
Seychelles: In the December 3 first-round presidential election, none of the six candidates succeeded in securing an absolute majority, setting up a runoff scheduled for December 16–18. Incumbent president James Michel of the People’s Party won 48 percent, while his closest competitor, Wavel Ramkalawan of the Seychelles National Party, received 34 percent. Patrick Pillay of the Seychellois Alliance received 14 percent. Three other candidates split the remaining votes. Results from the runoff election will be reported in a future issue. [End Page 178]
Tanzania: In the October 25 presidential election, government minister John Magufuli of the longtime ruling Revolutionary Party of Tanzania (CCM) won 58 percent, besting former prime minister Edward Lowassa of the opposition Party for Democracy and Progress (Chadema), who received 40 percent. Lowassa alleged that the vote was rigged and demanded a recount, but the National Electoral Commission dismissed his complaint. In concurrent legislative elections for the 366-seat National Assembly, the CCM won 252 seats, retaining its parliamentary majority. Chadema received 70 seats, the liberal Civic United Front won 42, and the remaining 2 seats went to members of smaller parties. Elections in Zanzibar were annulled following reports of widespread fraud and even incidents of physical fighting between election managers.
Turkey: Following the inconclusive June 7 parliamentary elections and the breakdown of coalition negotiations, the government called for new elections on November 1 for the 550-seat Grand National Assembly. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won 49.5 percent and 317 seats, regaining its parliamentary majority. The center-left opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) received 134 seats; the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), 59 seats; and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), 40 seats. Observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) denounced the electoral process as “unfair” due to the climate of “violence and fear” leading up to the vote.
Venezuela: In December 6 elections for the 167-seat National Assembly, the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) won a surprising two-thirds majority over the long-ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) of President Nicolás Maduro. According to official results, the MUD coalition secured 112 seats, while the PSUV and its allies only received 55 seats. Turnout reached 74 percent. Maduro conceded defeat, but said the outcome of the election did not mark the end of the country’s “Bolivarian revolution.”
UPCOMING ELECTIONS (January–December 2016)
Belarus: parliamentary, by September 2016
Benin: presidential, by March 2016
Bulgaria: presidential, by December 2016
Cape Verde: presidential, by August 2016; parliamentary, by February 2016
Chad: presidential/legislative, by April 2016
Congo (Brazzaville): presidential, by December 2016
Democratic Republic of Congo: presidential, by November 2016 [End Page 179]
Djibouti: presidential, by April 2016
Dominican Republic: presidential/legislative, 15 May 2016
Equatorial Guinea: presidential, November 2016
Gabon: presidential/parliamentary, by December 2016
The Gambia: presidential, by December 2016
Georgia: parliamentary, by December 2016
Ghana: presidential/parliamentary, by November 2016
Guyana: presidential, by December 2016; parliamentary, by November 2016
Iran: parliamentary, 26 February 2016
Jamaica: parliamentary, by December 2016
Lithuania: parliamentary, by October 2016
Macedonia: parliamentary, by April 2016
Mongolia: parliamentary, by June 2016
Montenegro: parliamentary, by October 2016
Morocco: parliamentary, by December 2016
Nicaragua: presidential, by November 2016
Niger: presidential/parliamentary, 21 February 2016
Peru: presidential/legislative, by April 2016
Philippines: presidential/legislative, by May 2016
Romania: parliamentary, by December 2016
Russia: parliamentary, 18 September 2016
Samoa: parliamentary, by March 2016
São Tomé and Príncipe: presidential, by July 2016
Slovakia: parliamentary, 5 March 2016
South Korea: parliamentary, by April 2016
Sudan: legislative, by December 2016
Taiwan: presidential/parliamentary, 16 January 2016
Thailand: parliamentary, by August 2016
Uganda: presidential/parliamentary, by February 2016
Vanuatu: parliamentary, by December 2016
Zambia: presidential/legislative, by September 2016
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 180]