- Election Watch
Armenia: In February 19 presidential elections, Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) was elected in the first round with 53 percent of the vote. Former president Levon Ter-Petrosian finished second with 22 percent. Thousands of Ter-Petrosian's supporters protested, claiming fraud, and a police crackdown took place, but OSCE observers declared the election "mostly in line with the country's international commitments."
Barbados: In parliamentary elections on January 15 for the 30-member House of Assembly, the opposition Democratic Labour Party, led by David Thompson, won 53 percent of the vote and 20 seats, defeating Prime Minister Owen Arthur's Barbados Labour Party, which won 47 percent and 10 seats.
Belize: In parliamentary elections on February 7 for the 31-seat House of Representatives, the opposition Democratic Party, led by Dean Barrow, won 25 seats, defeating Prime Minister Said Musa's People's United Party, which won six seats.
Bhutan: The country's first-ever elections to the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, were scheduled to be held on March 24; results will be reported in a future issue.
Croatia: After new elections for seats not decided in November 25 parliamentary elections, the balance of seats in the 153-seat House of Representatives was as follows: the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has 66 seats, the Social Democratic Party has 56 seats, the Social Liberal–Peasant Party alliance (HSS-HSLS) has 8 seats, and the Croatian People's Party–Liberal Democrats alliance has 7 seats. The governing coalition includes HDZ and HSS-HSLS. [End Page 179]
Djibouti: In parliamentary elections on February 8 for the 65-seat National Assembly, candidates loyal to an alliance led by President Ismail Omar Guelleh's Union for a Presidential Majority won all 65 seats. The opposition, led by the Union for a Democratic Change, boycotted the election.
Georgia: On January 5, President Mikhail Saakashvili of the National Movement–Democrats bloc was reelected in the first round with 53 percent of the vote. Levan Gachechiladze finished second with 27 percent. The opposition claimed fraud, but international observers said the election was free and fair.
Iran: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for March 14; results will be reported in a future issue.
Kenya: According to the official results of disputed presidential elections on December 27, President Mwai Kibaki of the Party of National Unity (PNU) was reelected with 47 percent of the vote, while challenger Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) won 44 percent. Odinga contested the results, and EU election observers said that balloting fell short of "international standards." Kibaki was sworn in on December 30, leading to violent clashes that claimed more than 1,500 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. A power-sharing agreement was reached in February, making Odinga prime minister (a new position). In legislative elections, also on December 27, for the 210 elected seats in the National Assembly, official results state that the ODM won 99 seats and the PNU won 43. The ODM–Kenya won 16 seats, the Kenya African National Union won 14, and Safina won 5.
Kyrgyzstan: In parliamentary elections on December 16, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's Ak Jol (Bright Path) party won 71 of the 90 seats in the Supreme Council. Because of last-minute rule changes, Ata-Meken (Fatherland), the main opposition party, won no seats despite winning more than 8 percent of the vote. Domestic monitoring group Taza Shailoo said that "conduct of the parliamentary elections did not correspond to fundamental international standards for conducting honest, free, fair, and transparent elections."
Malaysia: Parliamentary elections were scheduled for March 8; results will be reported in a future issue.
Pakistan: In February 18 elections for the 272 elected seats in the National Parliament, two long-established parties opposed to President Pervez Musharraf finished first and second. Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP), led by her widower Asif Ali Zardari, won 89 seats, while former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) won 66 seats. The pro-Musharraf PML–Quaid-e-Azam [End Page 180] won 42 seats, and its ally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, won 19. The...