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  • Election Watch

ELECTION RESULTS (March-June 1996)

Albania: On May 26 and June 3, Albanians cast ballots in parliamentary elections that European and U.S. monitors characterized as neither free nor fair. Protesting massive fraud and intimidation, most opposition groups, including the Socialist Party, pulled out during the first round of voting, and refused to participate in the second. Results gave a preliminary majority to President Sali Berisha's Democratic Party, which claimed 101 of the 140 seats in parliament. Four opposition parties that boycotted the elections--the Socialists, Social Democrats, Democratic Alliance, and the Democratic Party of the Right--presented their complaints to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Bangladesh: Following Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's resignation and the dissolution of parliament on March 30, a neutral, caretaker government scheduled fresh elections for June 12. Results will be published in a future issue.

Benin: In a runoff on March 18, Benin elected former dictator Mathieu Kérékou as president, becoming the first African country to oust a democratically elected incumbent at the ballot box. Outgoing president Nicéphore D. Soglo garnered 47.5 percent of the vote, while Kérékou, whose candidacy was endorsed by the Coalition of Forces of Democratic Change, captured 52.5 percent. The election attracted over 75 percent of voters to the polls.

Chad: On June 2, after years of internal strife and war with neighboring Libya, Chadians voted peacefully in their country's first multiparty presidential election. Fourteen candidates competed against incumbent President Idriss Deby of the Patriotic Salvation Front. Noting only minor irregularities, UN observers expressed satisfaction at the large turnout and impartial supervision of the vote. Final results were unavailable at the time of this writing and will be reported in a future issue.

Cyprus: Elections to the 56-member House of Representatives were held on May 26. The Democratic Rally-Liberal Party Coalition finished first with 20 seats, while the Progressive Party of the Working People came in a close second, with 19. The remaining seats were distributed among the Democratic Party (10 seats), the Socialist Party (5 seats), and the Movement of Free Democrats (2 seats).

Czech Republic: In elections on May 31-June 1 to the 200-member House of Deputies, Prime Minister Václav Klaus's Civic Democratic Party (ODS) slipped from 85 to 68 seats. In a vote that drew 76 percent turnout, the ODS and its coalition partners--the Civic Democratic Alliance and the Christian Democratic Union-Czech People's Party--won a combined total of 99 seats. Milos Zeman's Czech Social Democratic Party took 61 seats, while the Communist Party received 22. The ODS-led coalition is expected to form a minority government.

Dominican Republic: Presidential balloting held on May 16 marked the first vote in 35 years in which President Joaquin Balaguer was not a candidate. The man he defeated in 1994, José Peña Gómez of the Dominican Revolutionary Party, captured 45.9 percent. With 50 percent needed for victory, Peña Gómez will face runner-up Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Liberation Party (38.9 percent) in a June 30 runoff. Jacinto Peynado of the Social Reformist Party finished third with 14.9 percent. Results of the June 30 runoff will appear in a future issue.

Ecuador: Low voter turnout and poor organization marked the first round of presidential elections on May 9. Front-runners Jaime Nebot of the Social Christian Party (27.4 percent) and Abdalá Bucaram of the Ecuadorian Roldosist Party (25.5 percent) will face each other in a runoff set for July 7. Results will be published in a future issue. In elections for the 80-member National Congress, held on the same day, the Social Christian Party retained its legislative plurality by capturing 28 seats. The Roldosist Party took 21 seats, followed by the Christian Democrats (10 seats), the New Country Movement (7 seats), and the Democratic Left (5 seats). Independent candidates and minor parties won the remaining 9 seats.

India: In an election process that began on April 21, extended through May 30, and was expected to draw the participation of over 60 percent of India's 590 million eligible voters...

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