ELECTION RESULTS (March-June 1997)
Albania: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for June 29. Results will appear in a future issue.
Algeria: In June 5 parliamentary elections whose integrity has been questioned by both domestic groups and international observers, the National Democratic Rally of President Liamine Zeroual won 155 of 380 National People’s Assembly seats, and is likely to be joined in a governing coalition by the National Liberation Front, which won 64 seats. The Movement for a Peaceful Society (formerly Hamas) won 69 seats, the Islamic Renaissance Movement won 34 seats, and the mainly Berber parties, Socialist Forces Front and Rally for Culture and Democracy, garnered 19 apiece. The banned Islamic Salvation Front urged Algerians not to vote. Turnout was 65 percent.
Bolivia: In the first round of presidential voting, held on June 1, former president Hugo Bánzer of Nationalist Democratic Action (ADN) led with 22 percent, followed by Juan Carlos Durán of the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR) with 18 percent and Jaime Paz Zamora of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) with 17 percent. In simultaneous elections for the bicameral National Congress, ADN won 33 seats in the 130-seat Chamber of Deputies and 13 seats in the 27-seat Senate. MNR won 26 seats in the Chamber and 3 in the Senate, followed by MIR (25 and 6), Civic Solidarity Union (21 and 2), and Conscience of the Fatherland (17 and 3). A congressional vote to decide between the two presidential front-runners was expected in early August.
Bulgaria: On April 19–in early elections, called on February 4 after paralyzing antigovernment protests–the anticommunist Union of Democratic Forces, led by Ivan Kostov, won an outright majority of 137 seats in the 240-seat parliament. The ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party, which had held 125 seats, fell to 58. The mainly Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms garnered 19 seats, followed by Alexander Tomov’s Euro-Left Party (14 seats) and the Bulgarian Business Block (12 seats).
Burkina Faso: In disputed May 11 elections for the 111-seat Assembly of People’s Deputies, the Congress of Democracy and Progress won 68.6 percent of the vote and 101 seats, followed by the Party for Democracy and Progress, which received 10.1 percent and 6 seats. Two smaller parties split the remaining 4 seats. Turnout was 44 percent. The opposition parties protested the results, complaining of widespread irregularities.
Cameroon: The ruling Democratic Rally of the Cameroon People won 109 seats in the 180-seat National Assembly in May 18 voting. The Social Democratic Front won 43 seats, the National Union for Democracy and Progress won 13, and the Cameroonian Democratic Union won 5. The results of seven races were annulled. The opposition parties protested the results and appealed for an annulment of the elections.
Croatia: In April 13 elections for the House of Counties, the 68-seat upper chamber of the Croatian parliament, the ruling Croatian Democratic Union of President Franjo Tudjman won 41 of the 63 popularly elected seats, followed by the Croatian Peasant Party (9), the Croatian Social-Liberal Party (7), the Social Democratic Party (4), and the Istrian Democratic Assembly (2). Five seats are filled by presidential appointment. A presidential election was set for June 15; its results will be reported in a future issue.
El Salvador: The Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) and the ruling National Republican Alliance (ARENA) ran virtually even in March 16 polling for the 84-seat national legislature. ARENA garnered 33.3 percent of the vote and 28 seats (a loss of 14 seats) and the FMLN won 32.1 percent and 27 seats (a gain of 13). The conservative National Conciliation Party won 11 seats, and the Christian Democratic Party won 9 seats.
Indonesia: In May 30 elections culminating a campaign period marred by widespread political violence, provisional results indicated that the ruling Golkar party won an overwhelming 74 percent of the 111 million counted ballots and 325 seats in the 500-seat People’s Representation Council (the government appoints 75 seats). The leading opposition formation, the mainly Muslim United Development Party, won 90 seats, and the Indonesian Democratic Party garnered 10 seats.
Iran: In a race among 4 candidates preapproved from a field of 238 by the regime’s “Council of Guardians,” former culture minister Mohammed Khatami won an unexpected 69 percent of the 29.1 million votes cast in the May 24 presidential election, upsetting parliamentary speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri, who received 25 percent. Turnout was high, with 88 percent of the 32 million eligible voters casting ballots.
Mali: In May 11 presidential balloting, incumbent Alpha Oumar Konaré was reelected with 96 percent of the 1.1 million votes cast, according to official results. Turnout was 28 percent. The only challenger on the ballot, Mamadou Diaby, took the remaining 4 percent. Eight other opposition candidates boycotted the election, protesting the failed April 13 legislative elections, whose results had to be annulled owing to poor organization. Those elections were rescheduled for July 6; results will be reported in a future issue.
Mongolia: The leader of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, ex-communist Natsagiyn Bagabandi, received 60.8 percent of the vote in May 18 presidential balloting. Incumbent Punsalmagiyn Ochirbat of the Democratic Union trailed with 30 percent. Turnout was 85 percent of the 1.1 million eligible voters. The legislature, the Great People’s Hural, is still controlled by the Democratic Union Coalition, which won a majority in June 1996 voting.
Yemen: In April 27 parliamentary elections, the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) won a majority of 187 seats in the 301-member parliament, a 64-seat gain. The Yemeni Islah Party, an Islamist party and the GPC’s coalition partner, won 55 seats. Independents garnered 54 seats and two opposition parties won a combined 5 seats. The primary opposition party, the Yemeni Socialist Party, boycotted the elections. The elections were the first since the 1994 civil war.
Upcoming Elections (July 1997-June 1998)
Belize: legislative, June 1998
Cameroon: presidential, December 1997
Chile: legislative, December 1997
Colombia: presidential/legislative, May 1998
Congo (Brazzaville): presidential, 27 July 1997
Costa Rica: presidential/legislative, February 1998
Djibouti: parliamentary, December 1997
Dominican Republic: legislative, May 1998
Ecuador: legislative, May 1998
Guyana: parliamentary, 5 October 1997
Honduras: presidential/legislative, 28 November 1997
Jamaica: parliamentary, March 1998
Jordan: legislative, 6 September 1997
Kenya: parliamentary, December 1997
Liberia: presidential/legislative, 19 July 1997
Lithuania: presidential, November or December 1997
Mauritania: presidential, 12 December 1997
Mexico: legislative, 6 July 1997
Morocco: parliamentary, September 1997
Paraguay: presidential/legislative, May 1998
Poland: parliamentary, 6 September 1997
Slovakia: parliamentary, June 1998
Slovenia: presidential, December 1997
South Korea: presidential, 18 December 1997
Yugoslavia (Serbia): presidential/parliamentary, Fall 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.