Election Watch

Issue Date October 2020
Volume 31
Issue 4
Page Numbers 186-188
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ELECTION RESULTS (March–September 2020)

Burundi: In the May 20 presidential election, Évariste Ndayishimiye, the candidate of the incumbent party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDDFDD), won with 69 percent of the vote. Leader of the National Freedom Council (CNL), Agathon Rwasa, received 24 percent. In elections for the 123-seat National Assembly held that same day, CNDD-FDD received 68 percent and 86 seats, while the CNL received 22 percent and 32 seats. The remaining 5 seats went to smaller parties. Turnouts for the two elections were 88 percent and 87 percent, respectively. While the CNL claimed the results were tarnished by “massive fraud,” regional observers called them “free and fair.” Citing the covid-19 pandemic, the government quarantined foreign observers.

Guyana: In March 2 parliamentary elections for the 65-seat National Assembly, Irfaan Ali’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) won 51 percent of the vote and 33 seats. Incumbent president David Granger’s A Partnership for National Unity–Alliance for Change coalition won 47 percent and 31 seats. A coalition of three smaller parties shared the final seat. Final results were announced August 2, following a months-long recount process ordered by the Supreme Court. The PPP and international observers questioned the transparency and credibility of the initial vote tabulation, which had given Granger a slight lead. Ali was sworn in as president on August 2.

Mali: Delayed two years due to security concerns, the first and second round of elections for the 147-seat National Assembly were held March 29 and April 19 despite continued violence. Parties allied to incumbent president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta—the Rally for Mali [End Page 186] (RPM) and the Alliance for Democracy in Mali–Pan African Party for Liberty, Solidarity, and Justice (ADEMA-PSJ)—won 12 of the 22 seats contested in the first round, while the Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD) won 4. Initial government results for the second round showed the RPM winning an additional 33 seats, but on April 30 the Constitutional Court declared the number to be 41. ADEMAPSJ won 22 seats. The URD received 15 seats while 18 smaller parties shared the remaining 47 seats. Both rounds were marred by jihadist violence (including the kidnapping of URD leader Soumaïla Cissé), attacks on polling stations, and vote buying. While official turnout for the first and second rounds was 36 and 35 percent, respectively, local observers estimated 7.5 percent and 23 percent. Opposition parties questioned the credibility of the elections, uniting in months-long protests calling for Keïta to resign. He did so August 19 after the military arrested him and took control in a coup.

Poland: The presidential election, scheduled for May 10, was postponed to June 28 due to the pandemic. Incumbent president Andrzej Duda of the Law and Justice party obtained 44 percent of the vote, failing to meet the 50 percent minimum to avoid a runoff. Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski of the Civic Platform party received 30 percent. In the second round on July 12, Duda defeated Trzaskowski, 51 percent to 49 percent. Turnout for the first and second rounds was 64.5 and 68 percent, respectively, among the highest since the fall of communism.

Serbia: Elections scheduled for April 26 were postposed to June 10 due to the pandemic. Incumbent president Aleksandar Vuèiæ’s Serbian Progressive Party won 60 percent, increasing its majority in the 250-seat National Assembly from 131 seats to 188. The Socialist Party of Serbia–United Serbia won 10 percent and 32 seats. Dragan Ðilas’s Alliance for Serbia coalition boycotted the ballot. The Center for Research, Transparency, and Accountability election monitors reported twice as many irregularities, including vote buying and voter intimidation, as in the 2016 elections.

Singapore: In July 10 parliamentary elections, the incumbent People’s Action Party, which has been in power more than fifty years, won 61 percent and 83 of the 93 seats. The Workers’ Party won 11 percent and the remaining 10 seats, representing the strongest performance by an opposition party since independence in 1965. Turnout was 96 percent.

Sri Lanka: Snap parliamentary elections, scheduled for April 25, were delayed to August 5 due to the pandemic. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka People’s Front party won 59 percent of the vote and 145 of the 225 seats, 5 short of a supermajority. Sajith Premadasa’s United People’s Power won 24 percent and 54 seats, becoming the main opposition. [End Page 187] Once the second-largest party, the United National Party, led by former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, received 2 percent and 1 seat. Turnout was 76 percent.

Suriname: In May 25 elections for the 51-seat parliament, former police commissioner and justice minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi’s Progressive Reform Party won 39 percent and 20 seats. Former military leader and incumbent president Dési Bouterse of the National Democratic Party, who was convicted of murder in November 2019, won 24 percent and 16 seats. The National Party of Suriname came in third by percentage, with 12 percent and 8 seats. Results were delayed until June as both parties reported irregularities, triggering recounts in some districts. Forming a coalition with opposition parties, Santokhi was elected president. Turnout was 72 percent.

Vanuatu: In March 19–20 elections for the 52-seat parliament, the Land and Justice Party won 10 percent of the vote and 9 seats, while incumbent prime minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas’s Reunification Movement for Change and Bob Loughman’s Vanua’aku Party each obtained 7 seats, with 11 and 12 percent of the vote, respectively. Loughman was elected prime minister. Voter turnout was 52 percent.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS (October 2020–December 2020)

Bolivia: presidential/legislative, 18 October 2020*

Tanzania: presidential/legislative, 28 October 2020

Georgia: parliamentary, 31 October 2020

Burma: parliamentary, 8 November 2020

Venezuela: legislative, 6 December 2020*

[End Page 188]

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in developing nations and the postcommunist world. Some of the data for Election Watch come from 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, visit www.ifes.org.


* Indicates election expressly delayed due to the covid-19 pandemic. Reported dates reflect the date to which the election was postponed as of publication.