Election Watch

Issue Date April 2000
Volume 11
Issue 2
Page Numbers 178-81
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Election Results (December 1999-March 2000)

Chile: In presidential elections on December 12, Socialist Ricardo Lagos of the ruling Coalition of Parties for Democracy (Concertación) received the largest share with 48.0 percent of the votes; his main rival, Joaquín Lavín of the rightist Union for Chile, closely followed with 47.5 percent, and Communist Gladys Marín received 3.2 percent. Three other candidates split the remainder of the votes. In the January 16 runoff, Lagos won, receiving 51.3 percent to Lavín’s 48.7. See the articles by Arturo Fontaine Talavera (pp. 70-77) and Manuel Antonio Garretón (pp. 78-84) for further details.

Croatia: On January 3, in the country’s first elections to the Zastupnièki Dom (House of Representatives) after the death of President Franjo Tudjman, his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which had ruled since 1990, finished with only 40 of the 151 seats, down from 75 of the 127 seats in the previous House. The opposition coalition formed by the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and the Croatian Social-Liberal Party won 71 seats, while a coalition of four smaller parties gained 24 seats. In presidential balloting on January 24, Stipe Mesiæ of the coalition of four parties won 41.1 percent of the votes, Dra•en Budiša of the Social Democratic-Social-Liberal coalition finished second with 27.7 percent, and Mate Graniæ of the HDZ finished third with 22.5 percent. In the February 7 runoff, Mesiæ defeated Budiša, 56.2 percent to 43.8 percent.

Dominica: Elections to the 21-seat unicameral House of Assembly took place on January 31. The Labor Party of Dominica (LPD) won 10 seats, besting the governing United Workers’ Party, which gained only 9 spots. The remaining 2 members, from the Dominican Freedom Party, were widely expected to enter into a coalition with the LPD. [End Page 178]

El Salvador: Elections to the Asamblea Legislativa were scheduled for March 12. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Guatemala: In a presidential runoff on December 26, Alfonso Portillo of the Guatemalan Republican Front won with 65.8 percent of the vote, while Oscar Berger of the National Advancement Party received 30.5 percent. Only 41 percent of the country’s 4.5 million registered voters took part.

Guinea-Bissau: A presidential runoff was held on January 16, following first-round balloting on November 28. Koumba Yalla of the Social Renewal Party won with 72 percent of the vote; his opponent, Malam Bacai Sanha of the Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, received the remaining 28 percent. Over 73 percent of the country’s half-million registered voters took part.

Haiti: Legislative elections, which had been scheduled for March 19 and 30, were postponed. At the time of publication, a new date had not yet been chosen.

Iran: On February 18, over 80 percent of Iran’s 39 million voters took part in elections to the 290-seat Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis-e-Shoura-e-Islami). According to press reports, reformist candidates backing President Mohammad Khatami captured 170 seats, conservative groups gained 45 seats, and independents took 10. The remaining 65 members will be chosen in runoff elections to be held in April. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Kyrgyzstan: On February 20, almost 65 percent of the country’s 2.4 million registered voters took part in elections to both houses of the Supreme Council. Almost all seats remain to be decided in runoff elections, scheduled for March 12. Results will be reported in a future issue. Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe voiced concerns over the exclusion of some opposition parties and government interference with candidates.

Mozambique: On 3-5 December 1999, more than two-thirds of Mozambique’s 7.1 million registered voters cast ballots in their country’s second presidential and parliamentary elections following a groundbreaking 1992 peace agreement. In the 250-member Assembleia da República, the governing Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) retained its majority, winning 133 seats, while the opposition Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) took 117. In the presidential contest, incumbent president Joaquim Chissano of Frelimo won another term in office, defeating Renamo candidate Afonso Dhlakma by 52.3 to [End Page 179] 47.7 percent. Each party accused the other of electoral violations, but the results were accepted by both.

Russia: Over 60 percent of Russia’s 107 million voters cast ballots in December 19 elections to the 450-seat State Duma (lower house of parliament). Half of the Duma’s seats are decided by a countrywide party-list vote, while the other half are chosen from single-member districts. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) gained the largest number of seats (114). It was followed by the Unity bloc, recently formed by supporters of acting president Vladimir Putin (73); Fatherland-All Russia, led by former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov and Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov (66); the Union of Right-Wing Forces, led by former prime minister Sergei Kirienko (29); Yabloko, led by Grigory Yavlinsky (20); and “Zhirnovsky’s Bloc” (17). The remaining winners are either independents or members of smaller parties. Reballoting in nine single-member constituencies will take place in March. Results of the March 26 presidential election will be reported in a future issue.

Senegal: Seven opposition candidates competed with longtime incumbent president Abdou Diouf of the Socialist Party in a presidential election held on February 27. Preliminary results gave Diouf 41.3 per-cent–not enough to avoid a runoff–and Abdoulaye Wade of the “Alternance 2000” bloc 30.9 percent. Moustapha Niasse of the Alliance of Forces for Change finished third with 16.7 percent, and Djibo Ka of the Union for Democratic Renewal received 7.1 percent. Turnout was 62 percent. The other opposition candidates have declared their support for Wade in the March 19 runoff, the results of which will be reported in a future issue.

Sri Lanka: On 21 December 1999, amid violence attributed to Tamil separatist forces, more than 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s 11.8 million registered voters cast ballots in a presidential election called almost a year ahead of schedule. Incumbent president Chandrika Bandara-naike Kumaratunga of the People’s Alliance, who survived an assas-sination attempt, won reelection with 51.1 percent of the vote. Her main rival, Ranil Wickremasinghe of the United National Party, received 42.7 percent.

Taiwan: Presidential elections were scheduled for March 18. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Thailand: Direct elections to the 200-seat Senate were held on March 4, the first since the 1997 Constitution ended the practice of government appointments to the chamber in an effort to curb corruption. Results will be reported in a future issue. [End Page 180]

Upcoming Elections (April 2000-March 2001)

Azerbaijan: parliamentary, June 2000

Benin: presidential, March 2001

Bosnia-Herzegovina: presidential/legislative, 8 October 2000

Cape Verde: presidential/legislative, February 2001

Comoros: presidential, April 2000

Côte d’Ivoire: presidential, 31 October 2000

Dominican Republic: presidential, 16 May 2000

Ethiopia: parliamentary, 14 May 2000

Georgia: presidential, April 2000

Ghana: presidential/legislative, 8 December 2000

Grenada: parliamentary, December 2000 (latest)

Guinea: parliamentary, July 2000

Kyrgyzstan: presidential, December 2000 (latest)

Lebanon: parliamentary, August 2000

Lesotho: parliamentary, April 2000 (earliest)

Lithuania: parliamentary, October 2000 (approximate)

Mexico: presidential/legislative, 2 July 2000

Moldova: presidential, 3 December 2000

Peru: presidential/legislative, 9 April 2000

Poland: presidential, October 2000 (approximate)

Romania: presidential/parliamentary, September 2000 (latest)

Slovenia: parliamentary, fall 2000

South Korea: parliamentary, 13 April 2000

Tanzania: presidential/parliamentary, October 2000

Thailand: parliamentary (lower house), November 2000

Trinidad and Tobago: presidential/parliamentary, August 2000 (earliest)

Venezuela: presidential/legislative, 28 May 2000

Zimbabwe: legislative, May 2000

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. Much of the data for Election Watch is provided by 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, contact: IFES, 1101 15th Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 828-8507; www.ifes.org.