Election Watch

Issue Date Winter 1991
Volume 2
Issue 1
Page Numbers 113-16
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

ELECTION RESULTS (October 1990-December 1990)

Brazil: Brazilians elected 503 deputies and 31 of 81 senators in legislative elections on 3 October 1990. Candidates from 19 parties won seats in the Chamber of Deputies, and those from 11 parties won in the Senate. The once-dominant centrist Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB) slipped from about 130 deputies to 107 and won 8 senatorial seats, the center-right Liberal Front Party (PFL) elected 86 deputies and 8 senators, and various other parties accounted for the rest.

Côte d’Ivoire: In presidential elections on 28 October 1990, President Félix Houphouët-Boigny won 81.7 percent of the vote; Laurent Gbagbo, the leader of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), won 18.3 percent. (Three other parties declined to participate.) The first contested presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire was marred by violence and allegations of extensive fraud; Gbagbo unsuccessfully appealed to the Supreme Court to annul the election. In legislative elections on 25 November, Houphouët-Boigny’s Democratic Party of Ivory Coast-African Democratic Rally won 163 of 175 seats. Voter turnout was 35 to 40 percent, compared to 60 percent for the presidential election.

Egypt: A referendum called by President Hosni Mubarak on October 11 to dissolve the People’s Assembly passed with 94 percent of the vote. New elections were held November 29, with runoffs on December 6. The main opposition parties boycotted the election after their demands for judicial supervision of the polls and repeal of emergency laws were not met. Although some opposition candidates ran as independents, the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) won 348 seats in the 454-seat People’s Assembly. [End Page 113]

Gabon: In the first multiparty elections in Gabon, the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) and its allies won 62 of the 120 seats in the National Assembly. The National Recovery Movement-Lumberjacks (MORENA-Bucherons) won 20 seats and the Gabonese Party for Progress 18. Fifty-eight seats were decided in the first round on September 16, but results were canceled in 32 districts after opposition parties protested massive fraud, and another first round was held on October 21. Father Paul Mba Abessole, leader of MORENA-Bucherons, called on his party to boycott the second round (October 28) because of continuing election irregularities.

Guatemala: Jorge Serrano Elias of the Solidarity Action Movement (MAS) won 24.2 percent of the vote in the November 11 first round of presidential elections and is favored to win the January 6 runoff. Serrano was only slightly behind frontrunner Jorge Carpio (25.7 percent) of the Union of the National Center (UCN), and he is expected to pick up the votes of Alvaro Arzu of the National Advancement Party (PAN), who won 17 percent of the vote and is a rival of Carpio. The incumbent Christian Democratic Party’s (DCG) candidate, Alfonso Cabrera, came in third with 17.5 percent. In the National Congress elections, the UCN won 41 seats, the DCG 28, MAS 18, and PAN 12.

Haiti: On 16 December 1990, Haitians went to the polls to elect a new president and members of the bicameral legislature. Results will be reported in our next issue.

Malaysia: In parliamentary elections on October 20-21, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed’s ruling Barisian Nasional (National Front) coalition won 127 of 180 seats in the lower house (Dewan Rakyat), followed by the Democratic Action Party with 20 and the Parti Bersatu Sabah with 14. Opposition parties won all of the seats in two states-Kelantan and Sabah-but very few elsewhere. The opposition claims they were denied access to the mainstream media and that the campaign period of nine days was too short. Commonwealth observers, however, concluded that despite concerns about “imperfections” the elections “were free in accordance with Malayan law and circumstances.”

Pakistan: Benazir Bhutto and her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) suffered a sharp defeat in parliamentary elections on October 24, three months after her government was dismissed. The PPP won only 44 seats while the Islamic Democratic Alliance (IJI), backed by the military and the caretaker government, won 104 of 207 contested seats in the 237-seat National Assembly. Bhutto blamed the loss on widespread election fraud. [End Page 114] International observers, however, found that although there were serious problems in some areas, the final outcome of the election was not significantly affected.

Poland: With over 75 percent of the vote, Solidarity leader Lech Walesa won a landslide victory in a December 9 presidential runoff against Stanislaw Tyminski, an emigré businessman who shocked many political leaders and foreign observers by placing second in the November 25 first round with 23 percent of the vote, compared to Walesa’s 40 percent and then-prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s 18 percent.

USSR-Georgia: The noncommunist, proindependence Georgian Round Table, a coalition of seven parties led b y former dissident Zviad Gamsakhurdia, won 110 of the 250 seats in the Georgian Supreme Soviet, while the Communist Party won only 25. Most of the smaller parties that won the remaining seats are closer to the Round Table than to the Communists. The National Democratic Party, led by Giorgi Chanturia, boycotted the elections and set up a “shadow parliament” called the Georgian National Congress.

Yugoslavia: Slobodan Milosevic, the hard-line leader of the Serbian Socialist (formerly Communist) Party, won an overwhelming 65 percent of the vote in Serbia’s December 9 presidential election. In the first round of parliamentary elections, the Socialists won 87 of 250 seats, and the opposition won 9; remaining contests were decided in a December 23 runoff, the results of which will be reported in our next issue.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (January 1991-December 1991)

Albania: legislative, 10 February 1991

Algeria: legislative, before July 1991 (no date set)

Bangladesh: legislative/presidential, by early March 1991 (no date set)

Barbados: parliamentary, May 1991 (no date set)

Benin: legislative, 23 February 1991; presidential, 3 March 1991 (first round), 17 March 1991 (second round) [End Page 115]

Bulgaria: parliamentary, May 1991 (no date set)

Cape Verde: legislative, 13 January 1991; presidential, 17 February 1991 (first round), 24 February 1991 (second round)

El Salvador: legislative, 17 March 1991

Guatemala: presidential runoff, 6 January 1991

Guyana: legislative/presidential, March 1991 (no date set)

Kiribati: parliamentary, May 1991 (no date set)

Mexico: legislative, 4 September 1991

Mozambique: legislative/presidential, late 1991 (no date set)

Nepal: parliamentary, April 1991 (no date set)

São Tomé & Príncipe: legislative, 20 January 1991; presidential, 3 March 1991

Trinidad & Tobago: parliamentary, by December 1991 (no date set)

Vanuatu: parliamentary, November 1991 (no date set)

Western Samoa: parliamentary, February 1991 (no date set)

Zaire: legislative/presidential, late 1991 (no date set)

Zambia: legislative/presidential, by October 1991 (no date set) [End Page 116]

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in developing nations and the communist 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. The data in Election Watch are provided by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), 1620 I Street, NW, Suite 61 I, Washington, D.C. 20006.