Election Watch

Issue Date January 1995
Volume 6
Issue 1
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ELECTION RESULTS (September-December 1994)

Botswana: On October 15, Botswana held its sixth general election since gaining independence in 1966. The majority Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) maintained control of the parliament by winning 26 seats. The Botswana National Front (BNF) won 13 seats, a gain of 10 seats. Parliament reelected BDP leader Quett Masire to the presidency.

Brazil: Former finance minister Fernando Henrique Cardoso, running as the candidate of a three-party center-right coalition, became Brazil’s new president after winning 54.3 percent of the vote in national elections on October 3. The Workers’ Party (PT) leader, Luis Inacio (Lula) da Silva, ran a distant second with 27 percent (six other candidates split the remainder). After voting for the Senate, where two-thirds of the 81 seats are filled by direct election, 11 parties are now represented as follows: the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB) holds 23 seats; the Liberal Front Party (PFL), 18 seats; Cardoso’s own Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), 10 seats; the Progressive Renewal Party (PPR) and the Democratic Workers’ Party (PDT), 6 seats each; the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB), the PT, and the Progressive Party (PP), 5 seats each; and the Brazilian Socialist Party, the Popular Socialist Party, and the Liberal Party, a single seat each. Eighteen parties are now represented in the 513-seat Chamber of Deputies, with the PMDB and PFL having the most seats (107 and 90, respectively). Other major parties in the Chamber of Deputies include the PSDB (63 seats), the PPR (51 seats), the PT (49 seats), the PP (37 seats), the PDT (34 seats), and the PTB (30 seats). Ten other parties split the remaining 52 seats, but none won more than 15 seats.

Macedonia: President Kiro Gligorov, a former communist and now leader of the moderate Alliance for Macedonia coalition, won reelection to a five-year term with 53 percent of the vote in the first round of multistage elections held on October 16 and 30 and November 13. Citing numerous irregularities in the conduct of the balloting, the two largest opposition parties boycotted the later rounds after their presidential contender, Slavic-nationalist Ljubisha Georgievski, won a mere 14.5 percent in the first stage. The three parties making up Gligorov’s ruling Alliance for Macedonia retained control of the unicameral, 120-member parliament by winning a total of 95 seats. The (predominantly ethnic-Albanian) Party for Democratic Prosperity won 10 seats, the People’s Democratic Party took 4, and four minor parties and seven independent candidates each won a single seat.

Mozambique: The UN described the country’s first multiparty elections, held on October 27-28, as “free and just.” Incumbent president Joaquim Alberto Chissano and his Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) won 53.3 percent of the presidential vote and 129 seats in the 250-member parliament. Opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama and his Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) party gained 112 seats in parliament. A three-party coalition known as the Democratic Union ran a distant third, garnering 9 parliamentary seats.

Namibia: In internationally monitored elections -the first held since the gaining of independence from South Africa in 1990- Namibia voted overwhelmingly for incumbent President Sam Nujoma and his South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO). In the December 7-8 balloting, Nujoma received about 76 percent of the vote. His nearest rival, Mishake Muyungo of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), trailed with 24 percent. The bloc of SWAPO seats in the 72-member parliament increased from 42 to 53; the DTA has 15 seats. The other seats went to minor parties.

Nepal: In parliamentary elections on November 15, the Unified Marxist-Leninists won 88 seats in the 205-member legislature, placing Nepal on the path to becoming the first communist-governed nation on the Indian subcontinent. The ruling Nepali Congress Party won 83 seats, but failed to form a governing coalition with the monarchist New Democratic Party (20 seats). The remaining 14 seats went to independents (7 seats), the Nepal Peasants’ and Workers’ Party (4 seats), and the Nepal Goodwill Party (3 seats).

Sao Tome & Principe: November 16 balloting for the 55-member National Popular Assembly saw the former dominant party, the Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome & Principe (MLSTP), return to power after three years of being in the minority. The MLSTP gained a 27-to-14-seat edge over the Party of Democratic Convergence. The Independent Democratic Action Party, linked to President Miguel Trovoada (elected as an independent), also won 14 seats. The MLSTP has named Carlos Alberto da Graca prime minister.

Slovakia: Former premier Vladimir Meciar’s Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) won a parliamentary plurality on September 30 with 35 percent of the vote and 61 seats. Three other parties each obtained approximately 10 percent of the vote: the Common Choice coalition (18 seats), the Hungarian Coalition (17 seats), and the Christian Democratic Movement (17 seats). The remaining 37 seats were divided among the Democratic Union (15 seats), the Association of Slovak Workers (13 seats), and the Slovak National Party (9 seats).

Sri Lanka: Despite the murder of the leading opposition candidate, Gamini Dissanayake, presidential voting went ahead as scheduled on November 9. Chandrika B. Kumaratunga, incumbent premier and head of the People’s Alliance (PA) party, won with 62.3 percent of the vote. Srima Dissanayake, running for the United National Party (UNP) on her slain husband’s platform, came in second with 35.9 percent of the vote. Four other candidates received less than 1 percent of the vote apiece. Kumaratunga had become prime minister following the August 16 legislative elections, which gave her PA 105 seats in the 225-seat parliament. The UNP was a close second with 94 seats, and six other parties divided the remaining 26 seats among themselves.

Ukraine: For an analysis of Ukraine’s parliamentary elections (held in stages from March to November 1994), see Adrian Karatnycky’s article on pages 117-30 of this issue.

Uruguay: Presidential and legislative elections were held on November 27. The winner of the presidency was Julio Maria Sanguinetti of the opposition Colorado Party (PC). Uruguay’s president from 1985 to 1990, he edged out Alberto Volonte, the candidate of incumbent president Luis Alberto Lacalle’s National Party (PN), and Broad Front (FA) candidate Tabare Vazquez. Sanguinetti garnered 31.2 percent of the vote, while Volonte and Vazquez received 30 percent and 29.9 percent, respectively. Seventeen other candidates split the remaining 8.9 percent. In the 31-member Senate, the PC has 11 seats, the PN 10, the FA 9, and the New Space (NE) party 1. In the 99-seat Chamber of Deputies, whose members are elected from national lists, results were as follows: the PC, 32; the PN, 32; the FA, 30; and the NE, 5.

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.