Journal of Democracy 11.2 (2000) 178-181
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Election Watch *
(December 1999-March 2000)
Chile: In presidential elections on December 12, Socialist Ricardo Lagos of the ruling Coalition of Parties for Democracy (Concertación) received the largest share with 48.0 percent of the votes; his main rival, Joaquín Lavín of the rightist Union for Chile, closely followed with 47.5 percent, and Communist Gladys Marín received 3.2 percent. Three other candidates split the remainder of the votes. In the January 16 runoff, Lagos won, receiving 51.3 percent to Lavín's 48.7. See the articles by Arturo Fontaine Talavera (pp. 70-77) and Manuel Antonio Garretón (pp. 78-84) for further details.
Croatia: On January 3, in the country's first elections to the Zastupnièki Dom (House of Representatives) after the death of President Franjo Tudjman, his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which had ruled since 1990, finished with only 40 of the 151 seats, down from 75 of the 127 seats in the previous House. The opposition coalition formed by the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and the Croatian Social-Liberal Party won 71 seats, while a coalition of four smaller parties gained 24 seats. In presidential balloting on January 24, Stipe Mesiæ of the coalition of four parties won 41.1 percent of the votes, Dra>=en Budi(check)a of the Social Democratic-Social-Liberal coalition finished second with 27.7 percent, and Mate Graniæ of the HDZ finished third with 22.5 percent. In the February 7 runoff, Mesiæ defeated Budi(check)a, 56.2 percent to 43.8 percent.
Dominica: Elections to the 21-seat unicameral House of Assembly took place on January 31. The Labor Party of Dominica (LPD) won 10 seats, besting the governing United Workers' Party, which gained only 9 spots. The remaining 2 members, from the Dominican Freedom Party, were widely expected to enter into a coalition with the LPD. [End Page 178]
El Salvador: Elections to the Asamblea Legislativa were scheduled for March 12. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Guatemala: In a presidential runoff on December 26, Alfonso Portillo of the Guatemalan Republican Front won with 65.8 percent of the vote, while Oscar Berger of the National Advancement Party received 30.5 percent. Only 41 percent of the country's 4.5 million registered voters took part.
Guinea-Bissau: A presidential runoff was held on January 16, following first-round balloting on November 28. Koumba Yalla of the Social Renewal Party won with 72 percent of the vote; his opponent, Malam Bacai Sanha of the Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, received the remaining 28 percent. Over 73 percent of the country's half-million registered voters took part.
Haiti: Legislative elections, which had been scheduled for March 19 and 30, were postponed. At the time of publication, a new date had not yet been chosen.
Iran: On February 18, over 80 percent of Iran's 39 million voters took part in elections to the 290-seat Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis-e-Shoura-e-Islami). According to press reports, reformist candidates backing President Mohammad Khatami captured 170 seats, conservative groups gained 45 seats, and independents took 10. The remaining 65 members will be chosen in runoff elections to be held in April. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Kyrgyzstan: On February 20, almost 65 percent of the country's 2.4 million registered voters took part in elections to both houses of the Supreme Council. Almost all seats remain to be decided in runoff elections, scheduled for March 12. Results will be reported in a future issue. Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe voiced concerns over the exclusion of some opposition parties and government interference with candidates.
Mozambique: On 3-5 December 1999, more than two-thirds of Mozambique's 7.1 million registered voters cast ballots in their country's second presidential and parliamentary elections following a groundbreaking 1992 peace agreement. In the 250-member Assembleia da República, the governing Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo...