Election Watch

Issue Date July 1998
Volume 9
Issue 3
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ELECTION RESULTS (March-June 1998)

Armenia: In first-round presidential voting on March 16, independent candidate Robert Kocharian led with 38.8 percent of the vote, followed by Karen Demirchian of the Civil Initiative with 30.7 percent, Vazgen Manukian of the National Democratic Union with 12.2 percent, and Sergey Badalian of the Communist Party with 11 percent. In the March 30 runoff, Kocharian emerged with 59.5 percent of the vote, defeating Demirchian, who won 40.5 percent. The voting was marred by irregu-larities and charges of fraud.

Colombia: Final results from presidential elections held on May 31 showed Horacio Serpa of the Liberal Party with 34.37 percent of the vote, Andrés Pastrana of the Conservative Party with 33.97 percent, and independent Noemi Sanin with 26.5 percent. As no candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff was scheduled for June 21. Final results will appear in a future issue. According to preliminary results from March 8 legislative elections, which took place amid threats of guerrilla violence and allegations of vote-buying, the ruling Liberal Party won a slim majority in both houses, taking 55.9 percent of votes for the Senate and 54 percent of votes for the House of Representatives. The Conservative Party came in second with 24.5 percent of votes for the Senate and 27 percent of votes for the House of Representatives.

Czech Republic: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for June 19-20. Results will be published in a future issue.

Dominican Republic: According to preliminary results from May 16 legislative elections, the Dominican Revolutionary Party, whose leader José Francisco Pe~na Gómez had died the week before, won 24 of 30 Senate seats and 83 of 149 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The Dominican Liberation Party of President Leonel Fernandez won 4 Senate seats and 49 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, while the Social Christian Reformist Party won 2 Senate seats and 17 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

Ecuador: In first-round presidential balloting on May 31, Jamil Mahuad finished first with 35.2 percent of votes; Alvaro Noboa second with 26.5 percent; Rodrigo Borja third with 15.6 percent; and Freddy Ehlers fourth with 14.3 percent. As no candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff was scheduled for July 12. Final results will be published in a future issue. Results from concurrent elections for the 121-seat National Congress will also be published in a future issue.

Hong Kong: In May 24 elections for the Legislative Council, Martin Lee’s Democratic Party and its allies swept the popular vote but won only 20 of the Council’s 60 seats, thanks to restrictive electoral rules introduced to ensure the pro-Beijing makeup of the legislature. Thirty members were elected by occupation-based “functional constituencies,” 20 were popularly elected by proportional representation, and 10 were chosen by an 800-member election committee. Voter turnout was 53 percent, up from 35 percent in 1995.

Hungary: In two rounds of voting for the unicameral 386-seat National Assembly on May 10 and 24, Viktor Orban’s Federation of Young Democrats-Hungarian Civic Party won 148 seats; the Hungarian Socialist Party, led by Gyula Horn, won 134 seats; the Independent Smallholders Party won 48; the Alliance of Free Democrats won 24; the Hungarian Democratic Forum won 17; the Hungarian Truth and Life Party won 14, and an independent won the remaining seat.

India: For final results of February-March balloting for the 545-seat Lok Sabha, see the article by Atul Kohli on pp. 7-20 above.

Lesotho: On May 23, the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy won all but two seats in the 80-member National Assembly. The Basotho National Party won one seat outright; the remaining seat was unfilled at the time of this writing. Despite charges of election fraud by opposition supporters, international monitors declared the elections fair and “acceptable according to international standards.”

Madagascar: Elections for 150 seats in the National Assembly took place on May 17. Final results will be published in a future issue.

Moldova: In March 22 elections for 101 seats in the unicameral Parliament, the Communist Party of Moldova, led by Vladimir Voronin, won 30.1 percent and 40 seats. The Democratic Convention of Moldova (a coalition of the Party of Revival and Accord of Moldova with the Christian Democratic Popular Front), led by Mircea Snegur and Iurie Ro¸sca, won 19.2 percent and 26 seats. The Bloc for a Democratic and Prosperous Moldova, led by Dumitru Diacov, won 18.2 percent and 24 seats, and the Party of Democratic Forces, led by Valeriu Matei, won 8.8 percent and 11 seats.

Paraguay: In May 10 presidential balloting, Raul Cubas Grau of the ruling Colorado Party won 54 percent of the vote, defeating Domingo Laino of the opposition Democratic Alliance (comprising the Authentic Liberal Radical Party and the National Encounter Party), who garnered 42.5 percent. Preliminary results from concurrent legislative elections showed the Colorado Party with 45 of 80 seats in the House of Deputies, and the Democratic Alliance with 35 seats. In voting for the 45-seat Senate, preliminary results showed the Colorado Party with 24 seats, the Alliance with 20, and the Blanco Party with a single seat.

Philippines: Preliminary results from presidential voting held on May 11 showed Joseph Estrada, previously vice-president under Fidel Ramos, with 10.7 million votes. His closest rival, Jose de Venecia, took 4.3 million. In separate balloting for the vice-presidency Senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won 12.6 million votes, defeating Estrada’s running mate Senator Edgardo Angara, who won 5.6 million. Results from concurrent balloting for 206 seats in the House of Representatives and 12 seats in the Senate will be published in a future issue.

Senegal: In May 24 elections for the newly expanded 140-seat National Assembly, the ruling Socialist Party won an absolute majority with 93 seats. The Senegalese Democratic Party came in second with 23 seats, and the Democratic Renewal Party came in third with 11.

Seychelles: In presidential balloting held on March 20-22, France Albert René of the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF) won 66.7 percent of valid votes, Wavel Ramkalawan of the United Opposition (UO) won 19.5 percent, and James R. Mancham of the Democratic Party (DP) won 13.8 percent. In simultaneous voting for 34 seats in the National Assembly, the SPPF garnered 30 seats, the UO won 3, and the DP won 1.

Togo: Presidential elections were scheduled for June 21. Results will be published in a future issue.

Ukraine: For results from the March 29 parliamentary elections, see Nadia Diuk’s essay on pp. 97-111 above.

Yugoslavia (Montenegro): In May 31 elections for the 78-seat parlia-ment, the “For a Better Life” coalition of Montenegrin president Milo Djukanovi´c won 49.5 percent of the vote, while the Socialist People’s Party of Momir Bulatoviæ, a protegé of Yugoslav president Slobodan Milo(check)evi´c, took 36.1 percent.

Upcoming Elections (July 1998-June 1999)

Azerbaijan: presidential, October 1998

Benin: legislative, February 1999

Bosnia-Herzegovina: presidential/legislative, 12-13 September 1998

Brazil: presidential/legislative, 4 October 1998

Burkina Faso: presidential, November 1998

Cambodia: parliamentary, 26 July 1998

Djibouti: presidential, May 1999

El Salvador: presidential, 7 March 1999

Estonia: parliamentary, 5 March 1999

Gabon: presidential/legislative, December 1998

Guinea: presidential, December 1998

Haiti: legislative, November 1998

Latvia: parliamentary, 3-4 October 1998

Macedonia: parliamentary, November 1998

Malawi: presidential, May 1999

Nigeria: presidential, 1 August 1998

Slovakia: parliamentary, 25-26 September 1998

Taiwan: legislative, December 1998

Tunisia: presidential/legislative, March 1999

Venezuela: presidential/legislative, 6 December 1998

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in postcommunist and developing countries. 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. This information is current as we go to press; however, election dates are often moved due to changing circumstances. The data in Election Watch are provided by the International Foundation for Electoral 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, 1620 1 Street, N.W., Suite 611, Washington, DC 20006; (202) 828-8507.