ELECTION RESULTS (December 1996-March 1997)
Chad: In two rounds of voting on January 5 and February 23, the ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement of President Idriss Deby won 55 seats and combined with allies holding 15 seats for a 70-seat majority in the 125-seat National Assembly. The opposition Union for Renewal and Democracy of Abdelkader Wadal Kamougue won 31 seats, and other opposition candidates captured 24 seats.
El Salvador: Results of the March 16 legislative elections will be reported in a future issue.
Gabon: In two rounds of voting on January 26 and February 9, the Gabonese Democratic Party of President Omar Bongo won 85 of the 111 elected seats in the 120-seat National Assembly. The opposition High Council of Resistance, comprising primarily the National Rally of Woodcutters and the Gabonese Progress Party, garnered 24 seats.
Gambia: In January 2 voting, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction of President Yahya Jammeh, leader of a 1994 coup, garnered 52 percent of the popular vote and 33 of the 45 seats in the House of Representatives. The opposition United Democratic Party won 34 percent and 7 seats. Independents and two smaller parties split the remaining 5 seats. Observers pulled out before the elections on the grounds that they would not be free and fair.
Madagascar: Former president Didier Ratsiraka narrowly won a January 2 runoff over impeached incumbent Albert Zafy, 51 to 49 percent. Ratsiraka had also bested Zafy 36 to 23 percent in the first round of voting on November 3. Ratsiraka’s term lasts for five years.
Mali: Two-stage legislative elections began on February 16 and extended through March 21. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Pakistan: The Pakistan Muslim League of Nawaz Sharif won 134 of 207 available seats in February 3 elections for the 237-seat National Assembly. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto won only 18 seats. Nawaz Sharif was elected prime minister for a five-year term. President Farooq Ahmad Leghari had called for new elections on November 5 after dismissing Bhutto’s PPP government for alleged corruption. Turnout was 25 percent, down from 40 percent in 1993.
Russia (Chechen Republic): Aslan Mashkhadov won the January 27 presidential vote over Shamil Basayev, 65 to 23 percent. In two rounds of parliamentary voting, held January 27 and February 15, candidates were elected to 43 of 63 seats, enough for a quorum. Low turnout invalidated returns in the other districts (a minimum of 50 percent is required to validate an election). By-elections were to be held by April.
Singapore: On January 2, the ruling People’s Action Party of Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong won a near-sweep of Parliament, taking 81 of 83 seats. The Workers’ Party and the People’s Party each gained a single seat. The opposition contested only 36 of the 83 available seats. The government gained 65 percent of the vote, up from 61 percent in 1991. Voting was mandatory for voters in the 36 contested districts.
Upcoming Elections (April 1997-March 1998)
Albania: parliamentary, June 1997*
Algeria: parliamentary, 5 June 1997
Argentina: legislative, October 1997
Bolivia: legislative, 6 June 1997; presidential, November 1997
Bulgaria: parliamentary, 19 April 1997
Burkina Faso: legislative, 11 May 1997
Chile: legislative, December 1997
Congo: presidential, July or August 1997
Costa Rica: legislative, February 1998
Croatia: legislative, 13 April 1997; presidential, summer 1997*
Guyana: parliamentary, 5 October 1997
Honduras: presidential/legislative, 30 November 1997
Indonesia: parliamentary, 29 May 1997
Iran: presidential, 23 May 1997
Jamaica: parliamentary, March 1998
Jordan: legislative, 6 September 1997
Kenya: presidential/parliamentary, December 1997
Liberia: presidential/legislative, 30 May 1997
Mali: presidential, 13 April-16 May 1997
Mexico: legislative, 6 July 1997
Mongolia: presidential, 19 May 1997
Poland: parliamentary, 6 September 1997
South Korea: presidential, December 1997
Yemen: parliamentary, 27 April 1997
Yugoslavia (Serbia): presidential/parliamentary, November 1997*
Zaire: presidential, May 1997; parliamentary, June 1997*
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.