- Election Watch
Afghanistan: Elections for the 249-seat House of the People were held on September 18. Because most of the parliamentarians are independents, it is difficult to give a breakdown of the votes. Several thousand fraud allegations were filed, leading to 21 cases of winners being disqualified and 20 percent of the ballots being voided.
Azerbaijan: In November 7 elections for the 125-seat National Assembly, President Ilham Aliyev’s New Azerbaijan Party won 46 percent of the vote and 74 seats. Independent candidates who are aligned with the ruling party won 38 seats. Ten small opposition parties won the remaining 13 seats. Of these, the Civic Solidarity Party won 1.6 percent and 3 seats and the Motherland Party won 1.4 percent and 2 seats. The opposition bloc Musavat, led by Isa Gambar, did not win any seats. The OSCE election observation mission noted “serious problems” during the voting and said that the vote count was “bad” or “very bad” at nearly a third of the polling stations visited.
Bahrain: In October 23 and 30 parliamentary elections for the 40-seat Council of Representatives, the Islamic National Accord Society, known as al-Wifaq, a Shia Islamist party, won 18 seats; al-Asala, a Sunni salafist party, won 3 seats; the National Islamic Society, known as al-Menbar, another Sunni party, won 2 seats; and independent candidates (all of whom are Sunni) won 17 seats. Four opposition groups, including the Haq movement, boycotted the election. In the period leading up to the voting, the detention and trial of 23 Shia activists for allegedly forming a “terror network” created an atmosphere of unease around the elections.
Belarus: Presidential elections were scheduled for December 19; results will be reported in a future issue. [End Page 174]
Bosnia and Herzegovina: In the October 3 presidential election, Željko Komšić of the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SDP BiH) was reelected with 61 percent of the vote as the Croat member of the tripartite presidency, beating Borjana Krišto of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH), who won 20 percent. Nebojša Radmanović of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) was reelected with 49 percent of the vote as the Serb member of the presidency, beating Mladen Ivanić of the Coalition Together for Srpska, who won 47 percent. Bakir Izetbegović of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) was elected with 35 percent as the Bosniak member of the presidency, beating incumbent Haris Silajdžić of the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina, who won 25 percent, and Fahrudin Radonèić of the Union for a Better Future of BiH (SBB BiH), who won 30 percent. In concurrent elections for the 42-seat House of Representatives (where representatives from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are allocated 28 seats, while the representatives from the Republika Srpska have 14 seats) the SDP BiH and the SNSD won 8 seats each. The SDA won 7 seats, the Serbian Democratic Party and the SBB BiH won 4 seats each, the HDZ BiH won 3 seats, and six other parties each won 2 seats or fewer.
Brazil: In the October 31 presidential runoff, Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party (PT) won with 56 percent of the vote against José Serra of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). In the first round on October 3, Rousseff won 47 percent, Serra won 33 percent, and Marina Silva of the Green Party (PV) won 19 percent. Rousseff had served as chief of staff for outgoing president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. In October 3 elections for the 513-seat Chamber of Deputies, the PT’s alliance won 311 seats, the PSDB’s alliance won 136 seats, the Progressive Party won 41 seats, the PV won 15 seats, the Socialism and Freedom Party won 3 seats, and four other parties considered to be friendly to Lula each won 3 seats or fewer.
Burkina Faso: In the November 21 presidential election, incumbent Blaise Compaoré of the Congress for Democracy and Progress party, who has ruled since 1987, was reelected with 80 percent of the vote. Hama Arba Diallo, a former...