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  • Election Watch

ELECTION RESULTS (September 1993-December 1993)

Argentina: In congressional elections on October 4, the ruling Justicialist Nationalist Movement (Peronists) won 42.3 percent of the votes, defeating the opposition Radical Civic Union, which finished with 30 percent. The Peronists will gain ten seats in the Chamber of Deputies, giving them a total of 126 out of 257 seats and, with the support of representatives from some of the smaller parties, a working majority; the Radicals will drop one seat to a total of 83.

Azerbaijan: After armed rebels forced democratically elected President Abulfez Elchibey to flee the capital of Baku in June, he received a decisive vote of no confidence in a popular referendum on August 29. On October 3 new elections were held to determine his successor, and in a contest reminiscent of the Soviet era, Gaidar Aliyev, former KGB general and Soviet Politburo member, was elected with nearly 99 percent of the vote.

Central African Republic: Presidential candidate Ange-Félix Patassé succeeded in defeating Abel Goumba with 52.47 percent of the vote in runoff elections on September 12. Contrary to the information presented in our last issue, final returns showed that in first-round elections on August 22 Goumba had narrowly outdistanced David Dacko for second place and a spot in the runoff.

Chile: Preliminary returns showed that centrist Christian Democratic candidate Eduardo Frei Ruíz-Tagle, the son of Chile's popular former president Eduardo Frei Montalva (1964-70), was the clear victor in presidential elections on December 11, winning an estimated 58 percent of the vote. His nearest challenger, rightist candidate Arturo Alessandri, received 24 percent. Frei's center-left Coalition for Democracy [End Page 147] (Concertación) won 69 of 120 seats in the House of Deputies, but the rightist opposition holds 25 seats in the 46-member Senate, including eight appointed by General Augusto Pinochet in 1990.

Congo: Second-round legislative elections originally scheduled for June 6, but postponed because of boycotting by opposition parties and violence, were held without incident on October 3 and 6 to elect 11 legislators to seats not filled in first-round elections on May 22-23. Opposition parties succeeded in winning 8 of the 11 seats, and President Pascal Lissouba's Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS) won the remaining three. Despite these losses, Lissouba's coalition continues to hold a majority in the 125-member National Assembly.

Gabon: In chaotic presidential elections marred by violence and numerous irregularities, ruling president El Hadj Omar Bongo claimed reelection with 51.18 percent of the vote, defeating Paul Mba Abessole, the candidate for the Rally of Woodcutters party, who according to official figures received 26 percent. This marked the first first time that Bongo has faced an election with legal opposition parties since coming to power in 1967.

Guinea: Presidential elections originally scheduled for December 5 were postponed to December 19. Results of this election will be reported in our next issue.

Honduras: In presidential elections on November 28, Carlos Roberto Reina of the opposition Liberal Party gained 53.3 percent of the vote to defeat Oswaldo Ramos of the ruling National Party, who won 40.6 percent.

Jordan: Parliamentary elections for the 80-seat lower house were held on November 8, marking the first time that multiparty elections have been officially allowed since 1956. Although 20 diverse and largely ill-defined parties took part, the largest share of seats was won by independent centrists. The Islamic Action Front (IAF), the party of the Muslim Brotherhood, won only 16 seats, down from 22 in the 1989 parliament. Toujan Faisal made history as the first female candidate to be elected to the lower house.

Pakistan: In national parliamentary elections on October 6, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party won 86 seats in the 217-member National Assembly. The Pakistan Muslim League of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who stepped down in the midst of political turmoil in July, finished second with 72 seats. Bhutto succeeded in putting together a governing coalition, and was sworn in as prime minister on October 19.

Poland: In parliamentary elections for the 460-seat Sejm on September...