- Election Watch
Comoros: The first round of voting for the 24 elected seats in the Assembly of the Union was held on January 25. In constituencies where there was no winner in the first round, a second round was held on February 22. The vote was a face-off between President Ikililou Dhoinine’s alliance, the Union for the Development of the Comoros, which won 8 seats, and former president Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi’s Juwa party, which won 7 seats. The Democratic Rally of the Comoros and the centrist Convention for the Renewal of the Comoros each won 2 seats. The remaining 5 seats went to independent candidates and members of smaller parties. The general election was initially scheduled for early November, but was postponed for two months by President Dhoinine. Minor incidents of violence were reported during the vote.
Croatia: In the January 11 presidential runoff, opposition candidate Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović of the conservative Croatian Democratic Union was elected with 50.7 percent of the vote, barely defeating incumbent Ivo Josipović of the center-left Social Democratic Party of Croatia. The runoff reversed the results of the first round, held on December 28, in which Josipović led with 39 percent, Grabar-Kitarović received 37 percent, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić of the Euroskeptic Živi Zid (Human Blockade) party won 16 percent, and right-leaning candidate Milan Kujundžić (founder of the newly formed populist Croatian Dawn party) won 6 percent.
El Salvador: Voting for the 84 representatives in the unicameral Legislative Assembly was held on March 1. The results were significantly delayed due to technical problems. Early returns indicated a very tight race between the National Republican Alliance (Arena) and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). Full results will be reported in a future issue. [End Page 177]
Estonia: In March 1 elections to the 101-seat parliament (Riigikogu), newly elected prime minister Taavi Rõivas’s pro-NATO center-right Estonian Reform Party (RE) won 30 seats, defeating the opposition pro-Russian Center Party (EK), led by Edgar Saavisar, which received 27 seats. The Reform Party’s coalition partner, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDE), led by Sven Mikser, won 15 seats. The conservative Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), led by Urmas Reinsalu, won 14 seats. Two smaller parties—the newly formed liberal Free Party, led by Andres Herkel, and the right-wing Conservative People’s Party (VKRE), led by Mart Helme—split the remaining 15 seats. In March 2014, Rõivas was chosen as successor to former prime minister Andrus Ansip, who resigned in an attempt to strengthen his Reform Party in advance of the parliamentary elections.
Lesotho: In early elections held on February 28 for the 120-seat National Assembly, the Democratic Congress of former prime minister Pakalitha Mosisili won 47 seats and 39 percent. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) won 46 seats and 38 percent; the pan-African Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) led by Mothetjoa Metsing received 12 seats and 10 percent; and the Basotho National Party (BNP) led by Thesele Maseribane won 7 seats and 6 percent. Six other parties split the remaining 8 seats. The elections had been scheduled for 2017, but were called early after Thabane’s coalition government broke down following an attempted coup last August. A new coalition government was formed by the Democratic Congress, the LCD, and five other smaller parties, with Mosisili as prime minister.
Mauritius: In elections held December 10 for the 70-seat National Assembly, an alliance of the center-left Mauritian Socialist Movement (MSM) and the conservative Mauritian Social Democratic Party (PMSD), led by former president Anerood Jugnauth, won 51 seats and 50 percent. Former prime minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam’s coalition—composed of the Hindu-based Labor Party (MLP) and the radical Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM)—won 16 seats and 39 percent. The separatist Rodriguan People’s Organization (OPR), based on Rodrigues Island, received 2 seats and 1 percent. Voter turnout was reported to be 74 percent.
Nigeria: After having been pushed back a month, presidential elections were scheduled for March 28; results will be reported in a future issue.