Election Watch

Issue Date July 1999
Volume 10
Issue 3
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Election Results (March–June 1999)

Algeria: After six of the seven presidential candidates withdrew in protest the day before the presidential elections on April 15, the only remaining candidate, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, a former foreign minister favored by the military, won with 73.8 percent of the vote. Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi, despite withdrawing, won 12.5 percent. Voter turnout was officially reported at 60.3 percent, but opposition leaders charged that both the results and the turnout figures were falsified.

Armenia: In May 30 elections to the 131-seat National Assembly, the Unity Bloc of Defense Minister Vazgen Sarkisian and former Communist leader Karen Demirchian took 56 seats. The Communist Party came in a distant second with 10 seats. Observers voiced serious concerns over the administration of the election.

Benin: In March 30 elections to the 83-seat Assemblée Nationale, parties in opposition to President Mathieu Kérékou won a slim majority with 42 seats. The Benin Renaissance, the largest opposition party, led by former president Nicéphore Soglo, won 27 seats. Pro-Kérékou parties, including the Democratic Renewal Party (11 seats), the Action Front for Renewal and Development-Alafia (10 seats), and the Social Demo-cratic Party (9 seats), won a total of 41 seats.

Djibouti: Ismael Omar Guelleh of the ruling Popular Rally for Progress won 74.4 percent of the vote in April 9 presidential balloting, defeating independent candidate Moussa Ahmed Idriss, who won 25.6 percent. Election observers representing the Organization of African Unity, the Arab League, and the International Francophone Organization dismissed allegations of fraud leveled by supporters of the defeated candidate. Turnout was approximately 60 percent.

Equatorial Guinea: In elections for the unicameral 80-seat House of People’s Representatives on March 7, the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea of President Teodoro Obiang won a landslide victory with 75 seats. The Popular Union won 4 seats and the Social Democratic Rally, 1. Opposition leaders charged fraud.

Fiji: The opposition Fiji Labour Party swept March 8 and 15 elections to the 71-seat House of Representatives, winning 37 seats. With its coalition partners, it controls 52 seats. Its leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, was sworn in as the country’s first ethnic Indian leader.

Indonesia: Parliamentary elections took place on June 7. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Malawi: Presidential and parliamentary elections were postponed until June 15 due mainly to logistical delays with voter registration. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Nepal: In elections to the 205-seat House of Representatives on May 3 and 17, the Nepali Congress Party, led by Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Girija Prasad Koirala, won a majority of 110 seats. The Nepal Communist Party-United Marxist-Leninist Party, led by Man Mohan Adhikari and Madhav Kumar Nepal, won 67 seats. The National Democratic Party, led by Surya Bahadur Thapa, won 11 seats.

Panama: Mireya Moscoso of the Union for Panama coalition won 44.8 percent of the votes in the May 2 presidential election, defeating Martin Torrijos of the New Nation Alliance coalition, who won 37.8 percent, and Alberto Vallarino of the Opposition Action coalition, who came in third with 17.4 percent. In concurrent balloting for the unicameral 72-seat Legislative Assembly, Torrijos’ Democratic Revolutionary Party won 34 seats; Moscoso’s Arnulfista Party won 18; the Christian Demo-cratic Party, 5; the Solidarity Party, 4; the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement, 3; and the National Liberal Party, 3.

Slovakia: In the first round of presidential elections held on May 15, Rudolf Schuster of the Party of Civic Understanding captured 47.4 percent of the vote, defeating former prime minister Vladimír Meèiar of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, who won 37.2 percent. Independent candidate Magdaléna Vá(check)áryová came in third with 6.6 percent. In the runoff on May 29, Schuster won 57.2 percent, defeating Meèiar, who won 42.8 percent.

South Africa: The African National Congress (ANC) swept elections to the 400-seat National Assembly on June 2, winning 266 seats, one seat short of a two-thirds majority. The Democratic Party came in second with 38 seats, followed by the Inkatha Freedom Party (34); the New National Party (28); and the United Democratic Movement (14).

Togo: In March 21 elections for the 81-seat Assemblée Nationale, which were boycotted by major opposition parties, the Togolese People’s Rally won 79 seats, and independent candidates took the remaining 2.

Turkey: In April 18 elections to the 550-seat Grand National Assembly, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit’s Democratic Left Party (DSP) won 136 seats; the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), led by Devlet Bahceli, won 129 seats; the Virtue Party won 111 seats; the Motherland Party (ANAP) won 86 seats; and the True Path Party won 85 seats. Independent candidates claimed the remaining 3. After the election, Prime Minister Ecevit’s DSP forged a broad coalition government with MHP and ANAP.

Upcoming Elections (July 1999–June 2000)

Argentina: presidential/legislative, 24 October 1999

Botswana: parliamentary, October 1999

Chile: presidential, 12 December 1999

Dominican Republic: presidential, 16 May 2000

El Salvador: legislative, March 2000

Guatemala: presidential/legislative, November 1999

India: parliamentary, 21 October 1999 (latest)

Kyrgyzstan: parliamentary, 23 March 2000

Macedonia: presidential, October 1999

Malaysia: Parliamentary, April 2000 (latest)

Niger: presidential/legislative, November 1999

Paraguay: presidential, 6 February 2000

Peru: presidential/legislative, April 2000

Russia: parliamentary, December 1999; presidential, 9 July 2000

Senegal: presidential, February 2000

Thailand: parliamentary, March 2000

Tunisia: presidential/parliamentary, 24 October 1999

Turkmenistan: parliamentary, 12 December 1999

Uruguay: presidential/legislative, 31 October 1999

Uzbekistan: parliamentary, December 1999

Yemen: presidential, October 1999

Zimbabwe: parliamentary, March 2000

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