- Election Watch
Election Results: (March-June 2005)
Bulgaria: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for June 25; results will be reported in a future issue.
Central African Republic: Incumbent president François Bozize, who came to power through a coup in 2003, was reelected on May 8 with 64.2 percent, defeating former prime minister Martin Ziguélé of the People's Liberation Movement (MLPC). In the March 13 first round, Bozize had received 43 percent; Ziguélé, 23.5 percent; and André-Dieudonné Kolingba of the Democratic Rally (RDC), 16.4 percent. In two rounds of parliamentary elections, also held on March 13 and May 8, the National Convergence "Kwa Na Kwa"—which supports Bozize—won 42 of the 105 seats, while the MLPC received 11 seats, and the RDC, 8. Remaining seats went to independent candidates and smaller parties. While international observers said that the elections were free and fair, opposition groups called for the results to be nullified due to fraud and irregularities.
Ethiopia: An estimated 85 percent of registered voters participated in May 15 elections for the 547-member lower house of parliament. Preliminary results indicated that the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front and its allies won a majority of more than 300 seats. This meant a huge gain, however, for opposition parties, which had held only 12 seats in the previous parliament. Final results were due to be issued on June 8 but were delayed amid opposition complaints, student protests, and an outbreak of violence in early June. Results will be reported in a future issue.
Guinea-Bissau: A presidential election was scheduled for June 19; results will be reported in a future issue.
Iran: A presidential election was scheduled for June 17; results will be reported in a future issue.
Kyrgyzstan: The widespread belief that the government had rigged the February 27 and March 13 elections to the new 75-member unicameral [End Page 178] legislature led to a revolt that forced President Askar Akayev to step down. A presidential election was set for July 10; results will be reported in a future issue.
Lebanon: Parliamentary elections were held from May 29 to June 19; results will be reported in a future issue.
Mongolia: Former premier Nambaryn Enkhbayar of the ex-communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party won the presidency with 53 percent of the votes on May 22. Democratic Party chairman Mendsaikhan Enkhsaikhan received less than 20 percent of the vote. The largely symbolic presidency has become more inportant since June 2004 elections failed to produce a clear majority in parliament.
Suriname: Legislative elections were held on May 25; results will be reported in a future issue.
Tajikistan: In balloting held on February 27 and March 12 for the 63-seat Assembly of Representatives, President Amomali Rakhmonov's People's Democratic Party garnered 52 seats. The Communist Party won 4 seats, the Islamic Renaissance Party won 2, and independent candidates won 5 seats. Turnout was 93.2 percent. International monitors stated that, despite some improvements over previous elections, the polling failed to meet international democratic standards.
Togo: Upon the death of Togolese president Gnassingbé Eyadéma on February 5, the country's military leaders unconstitutionally appointed his son, Faure Gnassingbé of the ruling Rally of the Togolese People, to succeed him. Following heavy international and domestic pressures, a presidential election was held on April 24. According to official results, Gnassingbé won 60.2 percent of the vote, while opposition leader Bob Akitani received 38.3 percent. The results, disputed by most international observers as well as by the opposition, sparked riots in the capital, Lomé.
Zimbabwe: In March 31 elections for the 120 elected seats in the 150-member House of Assembly, President Robert Mugabe's African National Union–Patriotic Front received 78 seats, increasing by 16 seats its majority against the opposing Movement for Democratic Change, which received 41. The remaining seat went to an independent candidate. Opposition leaders and Western election observers denounced the elections, citing such flagrant abuses as media manipulation and ballot stuffing.
Upcoming Elections: (July 2005–June 2006)
Afghanistan: parliamentary, 18 September 2005
Albania: parliamentary, 3 July 2005 [End Page 179]
Argentina: legislative, 23 October 2005