- Election Watch
Election Results (June–September 2013)
Albania: In June 23 elections for the 140-seat Assembly, the opposition Socialist Party’s coalition, Alliance for a European Albania, won 58 percent of the vote and 83 seats. The Alliance for Employment, Welfare, and Integration—the coalition led by the Democratic Party of outgoing prime minister Sali Berisha, the country’s first postcommunist president—won 39 percent of the vote and the remaining 57 seats. The remaining votes went to smaller parties that did not clear the threshold for representation. Socialist Party chair Edi Rama became prime minister. Berisha conceded defeat days after the elections but later demanded a recount in two districts. A preliminary statement by OSCE observers praised the level of citizen participation and characterized the elections as “competitive” but noted that “the atmosphere of distrust between the two main political forces tainted the electoral environment and challenged the administration of the entire electoral process.”
Bhutan: In July 13 elections for the 47-member National Assembly, the opposition People’s Democratic Party of Sangay Ngedup, former chair of the Council of Ministers, won 55 percent of the vote and 32 seats. Prime Minister Jigme Thinley’s Peace and Prosperity Party won 45 percent of the vote and the remaining 15 seats. The election commission reported a turnout of 66 percent.
Cambodia: In July 28 elections for the 123-seat National Assembly, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party won 68 seats, down from 90, and the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) won 55 seats. The CNRP’s leader, Sam Rainsy, alleged fraud and claimed that it had actually won 63 seats. Rainsy had returned to the country from exile in July after a royal pardon for allegedly spreading disinformation [End Page 175] and forging official documents, but was barred from running for office by the National Election Committee. He demanded an independent investigation of the election results, called for demonstrations that drew tens of thousands to the streets of Phnom Penh, and threatened a CNRP boycott of the parliament.
Cameroon: Legislative elections were scheduled for September 30; results will be reported in a future issue.
Guinea: Legislative elections were scheduled for September 28; results will be reported in a future issue.
Iran: In the June 14 presidential election, cleric and former chief of the national-security council Hassan Rouhani won 52 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff. Tehran mayor Mohammad Ghalibaf received 17 percent; secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili received 12 percent; and former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Mohsen Rezai received 11 percent. Two other candidates split the remaining votes. Prior to the election, an unelected committee of six lawyers and six religious officials approved a slate of eight candidates (two of whom subsequently withdrew) out of a pool of more than 680 who had registered. The officially announced turnout was 73 percent.
Kuwait: In July 27 ballotting for the 50-member National Assembly—the country’s third polling in a year and a half—tribal leaders won 24 seats, Shiites won 8 seats (down from 17 in the previous assembly), and the National Democratic Alliance, a liberal bloc that had boycotted the previous elections, won 3 seats. Kuwait does not allow political parties. The elections were called after the Constitutional Court dissolved the previous assembly due to a procedural flaw in the conduct of the December 2012 elections. Parts of the opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood, continued their boycott in protest of a recent change in the electoral law that reduces the number of votes granted to each eligible voter from four to one. After the elections, Kuwait’s emir reappointed Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family, as prime minister.
Maldives: According to provisional results of the September 7 presidential election, Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic Party, the former president who resigned in February 2012 in what he claims was a coup, received 45 percent of the vote; Abdulla Yameen of the Progressive Party, whose half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom held the presidency for thirty years, received 25 percent; and former finance minister Qasim Ibrahim of the Republican Party received 24...