- Election Watch
ELECTION RESULTS (July–September 2014)
Afghanistan: In the June 14 presidential runoff, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, running as an independent, won 56 percent of the vote, defeating the leader of the National Coalition of Afghanistan and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, who received 44 percent. The runoff reversed the results of the first round of the elections held on April 5, in which Abdullah Abdullah won 45 percent of the vote and Ashraf Ghani 32 percent. The Abdullah campaign rejected the preliminary election results, complaining of widespread fraud. U.S. secretary of state John Kerry negotiated an agreement between the two candidates for an audit of all eight million ballots cast in the runoff election. Although the audit was completed on September 4, it remained unclear when the final results would be announced.
Colombia: In the June 15 runoff election, Juan Manuel Santos of the Social Party of National Unity (PSUN) won 51 percent of the vote and Óscar Iván Zuluaga of former president Álvaro Uribe’s Pure Democratic Center received 45 percent. The second round of voting reversed the results of the first round, during which Zuluaga led with 29 percent and Santos received 25 percent. While voter turnout increased from 41 percent during the first round to 48 percent during the runoff, more than 600,000 voters abstained from voting for either candidate by casting a blank ballot in the runoff.
Indonesia: In the July 9 presidential election, Jakarta governor Joko Widodo, backed by a coalition including the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), defeated the Gerinda party’s Prabowo Subianto—son-in-law of former dictator Suharto—with 53 percent of the vote. Following his defeat, Subianto rejected the results, alleging [End Page 177] “widespread irregularities” at 52,000 polling places. His appeal was rejected by the election commission and Widodo was declared the winner on July 22. For more on Indonesia’s election, see the article by Marcus Mietzner on pp. 111–25 above.
Libya: In June 25 elections for the 200-seat House of Representatives, all 1,714 contestants registered as independent candidates due to Libya’s electoral law banning party lists. The election was marred by low turnout (some say 18 percent of eligible voters). On August 4, 158 of the representatives convened in the eastern city of Tobruk instead of Benghazi, where the handover ceremony and sessions had been mandated to take place. Thirty representatives contested the move to Tobruk as unconstitutional, and have insisted on the legality and legitimacy of the rump General National Congress, elected in July 2012. Political polarization and violence have spiraled.
Mauritania: In the June 21 presidential election, incumbent president Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz won with 82 percent. Biram Dah Abeid of the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) received 9 percent, Boidiel Ould Houmeid of the National Pact for Development and Democracy (PNDD) won 5 percent, and Ibrahima Moctar Sarr of the Alliance for Justice and Democracy/Movement for Renovation (AJD/MR) received 4 percent. Alleging that the outcome was predetermined, the opposition National Forum for Democracy and Unity (FNDU) boycotted the election.
Slovenia: In elections held July 13 for the 90-seat National Assembly, the recently formed Party of Miro Cerar won 34 percent, gaining 36 seats. The Slovenian Democratic Party received 21 percent and 21 seats, the Slovenian Democratic Party of Pensioners won 10 percent and 10 seats, and Left Unity (a new left-wing coalition) and the Social Democrats each won 6 percent and 6 seats. Smaller parties split the remaining 11 seats. The snap elections were called following the collapse of the government led by the Positive Slovenia party, which won the 2011 election but failed to win any representation in the new parliament.
Turkey: According to results of the country’s first direct presidential election on August 10, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) won 52 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff. He defeated opposition candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu, backed by both the secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), who won 38 percent. Selahattin Demirtaş of the Kurdish-dominated People’s Democratic Party (HDP...