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  • Election Watch

Election Results
(March–June 2006)

Belarus: In March 19 voting, Alyaksandr Lukashenka was reelected as president. According to official results, Lukashenka, who has ruled since 1994, won 83 percent of the vote, while opposition candidates Alyaksandr Milinkevich of the United Democratic Opposition, Sergei Gaidukevich of the Liberal Democratic Party, and Alyaksandr Kozulin of the Social Democratic Party earned 6.1 percent, 3.5 percent, and 2.2 percent respectively. International observers declared the elections neither free nor fair, pointing to harassment of the opposition and of independent observers, as well as vote-rigging and other irregularities. Demonstrations were held in Minsk in response to the flawed election, leading to the arrest of thousands of protestors, including Kozulin.

Benin: On March 5, the fourth presidential elections were held since Benin's 1991 democratic transition. Independent candidate Yayi Boni, former chief of the West African Development Bank, won 35.8 percent; Adrien Houngbedi, a former speaker of the National Assembly and leader of the Party of Democratic Renewal, earned 24.2 percent; Bruno Amoussou of the Social Democratic Party, 16.3 percent; and Lehadi Soglo, 8.4 percent. In the March 19 runoff, Boni defeated Houngbedji, winning 74.6 percent of the vote.

Chad: Despite violence and instability following a failed coup attempt in March, presidential elections were held on May 3. President Idriss Déby of the Patriotic Salvation Movement was reelected with 77 percent of the vote. Opposition parties boycotted the election, alleging vote-rigging. The Independent Electoral Commission reported that voter turnout was around 60 percent, but independent observers reported scarce participation. [End Page 175]

Colombia: In the March 12 congressional elections, a seven-party coalition allied with President Alvaro Uribe won 61 seats in the 102-seat Senate. The Liberal Party, traditionally powerful in Colombian politics, won only 17 seats. The pro-Uribe alliance, which includes the Conservative Party, also won a majority in the Chamber of Representatives, winning 91 of the 166 seats contested. In the May 28 presidential elections, Uribe was reelected, winning 62 percent of the vote. Left-wing senator Carlos Gaviria of the Independent Democratic Pole was Uribe's closest challenger, winning 22 percent of the vote. Liberal Party candidate Horacio Serpa received just under 12 percent of the vote.The May 28 poll was one of Colombia's most peaceful in many years, as the Marxist FARC guerrilla group kept its promise not to interfere with the election.

Comoros: In the April 16 first round of voting for the presidency, moderate Islamist Ahmed Abdallah Sambi won 26 percent of the vote; National Assembly vice-president Mohammed Djaanfari won 14 percent; and Ibrahim Halidiwon 11 percent. In the second round, in which the top three vote-getters compete, Sambi was elected president with 58 percent of the vote, while Halidi and Djaanfari followed with 28 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

Czech Republic: In June 2–3 elections for the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies, the Civic Democratic Party won 81 seats, while their centrist allies, the Christian Democratic Union–Czech People's Party and the Green Party, won 13 seats and 6 seats, respectively. The ruling Social Democratic Party, led by Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, won 74 seats and the Communist Party won 26, leaving the two likely potential governing coalitions with a total of 100 seats each.

Dominican Republic: Legislative elections were held on May 28; results will be reported in a future issue.

El Salvador: In March 12 elections for the 84-member Legislative Assembly, President Antonio Saca's conservative National Republican Alliance won 34 seats. The Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, a former guerrilla group, won 32 seats; the National Conciliation Party earned 10 seats; the Christian Democratic Party won 6 seats; and Democratic Change won 2 seats.

Fiji:Parliamentary elections held on May 6–13 gave Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's indigenous United Fiji Party (SDL) a slight majority in Fiji's 71-member parliament. The SDL won 36 seats while the Fiji Labour Party, dominated by ethnic Indians and led by Mahendra Chaudhry, won 31. Chaudhry, who was ousted in a coup led by indigenous nationalists in 2000, has claimed that the election was rigged.

Haiti: Parliamentary...


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