- Election Watch
Albania: In June 25 elections for the 140-seat National Assembly, the Socialist Party led by Prime Minister Edi Rama won 48 percent of the vote and 74 seats. The opposition Democratic Party led by Lulzim Basha won 29 percent and 43 seats, and the Socialist Movement for Integration led by Petrit Vasili won 14 percent and 19 seats. Two smaller parties split the remaining seats. The vote was postponed by one week as part of a May 18 agreement among the parties that averted the opposition’s possible boycott of the elections. A preliminary statement by OSCE observers praised the peaceful conduct of the elections, but reported “widespread allegations of vote buying and pressure on voters” that undermined voter confidence in the process.
Angola: In August 23 elections for the 220-seat National Assembly, the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) won 61 percent of the vote and 150 seats. The opposition National Union for the Total Independence of Angola won 26.7 percent and 51 seats; and the Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola–Electoral Coalition won 9.5 percent and 16 seats. Smaller parties split the remaining 3 seats. Defense Minister João Lourenço will succeed longtime president José Eduardo dos Santos, who chose not to seek another term after 38 years in office but remains president of the MPLA.
Congo (Brazzaville): In elections held on July 16 and 30 for the 151-seat National Assembly, the ruling Congolese Labor Party of longtime president Denis Sassou-Nguesso won 90 seats. The Pan-African Union for Social Democracy led by former president Pascal Lissouba and the newly formed Union of Humanist Democrats led by Guy-Brice Parfait Kolélas each won 8 seats, while the Dynamic for the Republic and Recovery won 3 seats. Smaller parties and independent candidates split the remaining seats. Elections were not held in 9 of 14 districts within the Pool department due to outbreaks [End Page 177] of violence, with incumbents retaining their mandates until a new vote is organized.
Kenya: Following opposition candidate Raila Odinga’s challenge of the August 8 presidential election, the Supreme Court ruled on September 1 to nullify the vote, mandating new elections scheduled for October 17. Results from Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had reported that Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee party won 54 percent of the vote and Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement, 44.7 percent. In its ruling, the Court reported “irregularities and illegalities” in IEBC’s conduct of the vote. Results from the October 17 election will be reported in a future issue.
Mongolia: In the June 26 presidential vote, none of the candidates obtained an outright majority, setting up a runoff vote held on July 7. In the first round, Khaltmaa Battulga of the opposition Democratic Party (DP) won 38.6 percent of the vote; Miyegombo Enkhbold of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), 30.8 percent; and Sainkhuu Ganbaatar of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP), 30.6 percent. In the July 7 runoff, Battulga captured 55 percent of the vote, defeating Enkhbold, who won 44.9 percent. Incumbent president Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj of the DP, who had held office since 2009, was barred from seeking a third term.
Papua New Guinea: In elections for the 111-seat unicameral National Parliament that began on June 24 and lasted two weeks, the ruling People’s National Congress Party led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill won 27 seats; the National Alliance Party, 14 seats; and the Pangu Party, 11 seats. Smaller parties and 14 independent candidates split the remaining seats. Following the vote, O’Neill was selected for a second term as prime minister. The campaign and its aftermath were marked by allegations of violence and by electoral irregularities that prevented thousands of voters who were missing from electoral lists from casting a vote.
Rwanda: In the August 4 presidential election, incumbent Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR) was reelected to a third term, winning 98.79 percent of the vote. Independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana won 0.73 percent, and Frank Habineza of the...