- Election Watch
Election Results (June–September 1999)
Central African Republic: Presidential balloting was scheduled for September 19 and October 3. Results will be reported in a future issue.
India: Five rounds of parliamentary elections were scheduled for September 5, 11, 18, 25, and October 3. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Indonesia: Elections for 462 seats in the 500-member People’s Representative Assembly (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, or DPR) were held on June 7 with 48 political parties competing. (The remaining 38 seats are appointed by the Armed Forces and police.) Megawati Sukarnoputri’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) won the largest proportion of the vote, with 35.4 percent (153 seats), while the Golkar party of President B.J. Habibie came in second with 19.7 percent (120 seats). Other seat-winning parties included two probable PDI-P coalition partners—the National Awakening Party with 16.5 percent (51 seats) and the National Mandate Party with 6.9 percent (34 seats)—and the United Development Party, which gained 10.1 percent of the vote and 58 seats. The elections, in which over 60 percent of the 117 million registered voters cast valid ballots, were deemed free and fair by international observers from the Carter Center and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. The DPR, once combined with 135 provincial representatives and 65 members of “functional groups” (professional, religious, and ethnic groups), will form the 700-member People’s Consultative Assembly, which will elect the president in November.
Kazakhstan: Elections to the Senate were scheduled for September 17. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Kuwait: Debates over the Emir’s decree to grant suffrage to women dominated the campaign leading up to parliamentary elections on July 3. The elections, in which political parties were banned and candidates were grouped by ideological affiliation, drew 83 percent of Kuwait’s 113,000 registered voters. Liberals won 14 seats in the 50-seat National Assembly (Majlis al-Umma), up from 4 in the last parliament; pro-government members dropped from 18 to 12; Islamists took 20 seats, 4 more than in 1996; and independent candidates won the remaining 4.
Malawi: Over 90 percent of Malawi’s 5.1 million registered voters participated in parliamentary and presidential elections held on June 15. Incumbent president Bakili Muluzi won with 2.4 million votes (52.4 percent), while his principal rival, Gwanda Chakuamba, received 2.1 million votes (45.2 percent). In elections to the 192-seat National Assembly, Muluzi’s United Democratic Front received 93 seats, while the oppositional coalition comprising Chakuamba’s Malawi Congress Party (66 seats) and the Alliance for Democracy (29 seats) won a narrow plurality. Four seats went to independents. Charging irregularities in registration and voting, the opposition challenged both results in the High Court, but to no avail.
Venezuela: Elections to create a new body, the 131-seat National Constituent Assembly, were held on July 25. Supporters of President Hugo Chávez, collectively known as the Polo Patriótico, won 120 of the 128 generally elected seats; the remaining three seats were reserved for indigenous groups. Voter turnout was low, with less than 47 percent of the country’s 10.9 million registered voters participating. The Assembly, approved in an April 1999 referendum, has been given six months to write a new constitution. Opposition leaders publicly voiced their fears that Chávez would use the Assembly to create one-man rule.
Yemen: Presidential elections were scheduled for September 23. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Upcoming Elections (October 1999–September 2000)
Argentina: presidential/legislative, 24 October 1999
Botswana: parliamentary, October 1999
Chile: presidential, 12 December 1999
Comoros: legislative, January 2000 (earliest); presidential, April 2000
Croatia: parliamentary, December 1999
Dominica: parliamentary, 12 June 2000
Dominican Republic: presidential, 16 May 2000
El Salvador: legislative, March 2000
Ethiopia: parliamentary, 14 May 2000
Georgia: parliamentary, October 1999 (earliest)
Guatemala: presidential/legislative, 7 November 1999
Guinea-Bissau: presidential/parliamentary, 28 November 1999
Haiti: legislative, 28 November 1999
Iran: parliamentary, 18 February 2000
Kazakhstan: parliamentary, 10 October 1999
Kyrgyzstan: parliamentary, 23 or 24 March 2000
Lesotho: parliamentary, April 2000 (earliest)
Macedonia: presidential, 31 October 1999