Page 12

Global issue 20

Inbox Mozambique Both presidential and assembly elections were held in Mozambique on 15 October 2014. The Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) was returned to parliament with 55.9 per cent of the vote and its candidate Filipe Nyusi was elected with 57 per cent in the presidential poll. He replaces FRELIMO’s Armando Guebuza, who was not permitted to run for a third term. The Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) took second place in the assembly, netting 32.5 per cent, followed by the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) in distant third with 8.4 per cent. Their presidential candidates were placed similarly – RENAMO’s Afonso Dhlakama received 36.6 per cent of votes and MDM’s Daviz Simango 6.4 per cent. On a turnout of 48.5 per cent, no other party crossed the five-per-cent threshold required to sit in parliament. Uruguay General elections held in Uruguay on 26 October saw the centre-left Broad Front returned to government with 49.5 per cent of the popular vote. The party was able to hold all of its 50 seats in the lower house and lost a single seat in the senate. The conservative National Party made up the biggest opposition party, having won 31.9 per cent of the vote and 32 seats, with the Colorado Party’s 13.3 per cent placing it in distant third. As no single party crossed the 50-per-cent threshold, a presidential run-off was held on 30 November, contested between former President Tabaré Vázquez for the Broad Front and Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou for the National Party, in which Vázquez replaced incumbent José Mujica who had reached his maximum eligible terms. Vázquez was elected with a total of 56.6 per cent of votes, with Lacalle Pou trailing at 43.4 per cent. Turnout of registered voters totalled 90.5 per cent in the first round and 88.6 per cent in the run-off. Romania Both rounds of Romania’s presidential elections were held in November. The first round of voting, held on 2 November, narrowed 14 candidates down to two – acting Prime Minister Victor Ponta of the Social Democratic Party and Klaus Iohannis of the National Liberal Party. Ponta was favoured in opinion polls and received 40.4 per cent of the vote to Iohannis’s 30.4 per cent. Both rounds were marked by scandals, notably problems with diaspora voting as long queues found the polls closing early in several European cities. In London, Paris and Vienna, frustrated voters clashed with police, their anger aimed at Ponta, who they perceived as responsible. The second round on 16 November saw Iohannis elected with 54.5 per cent of votes, with Ponta receiving 45.5 per cent (turnout was 64.1 per cent), a result that came as a surprise both nationally and internationally. Solomon Islands The Solomon Islands has a history of fragmentation, leading to the election of independent candidates who form unstable coalitions. The general elections on 19 November were no exception: 32 of 50 parliamentary seats went to unaffiliated candidates. Most significantly, incumbent Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, who had served since 2011, lost his constituency seat, with it instead going to his nephew, Jimson Tanangada. The Democratic Alliance Party emerged as the strongest single entity, but lost a significant portion of its support, seeing its allocation reduced from 12 seats to just seven. The United Democratic Party and the People’s Alliance party won five and three seats respectively, with three further parties winning one seat each. Negotiations over coalitions and possible partners began immediately, but are likely to take some time. The election tested a biometric registration system that has been received positively, with voter turnout estimated to be between 80 and 90 per cent. Namibia The South West Africa People’s Party (SWAPO) has been in power since Namibia’s independence in 1990 and won a landslide in the general election held on 28 November. The party took 86.7 per cent of the public vote, or 77 of 96 seats, on a 72 per cent turnout. The closest competitor, the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) won 4.8 per cent, or five seats, while the Rally for Democracy and Progress came in third, having lost five seats and returned just three. The concurrent presidential elections told a similar story: incumbent President Hifikepunye Pohamba was barred from running for a third term, but SWAPO party colleague Hage Geingob won 86.7 per cent of the popular vote, with a minuscule five per cent going to his nearest rival, DTA’s McHenry Venaani. Electronic voting was used for the first time during the election and international observers, including the African Union, agreed that the elections had been carried out peacefully. Moldova The main differentiator between the parties contesting the Moldovan general elections, held on 30 November, was the question of pro-Russian or pro-European alignment. Of the popular vote, a new party, the pro-Russian Party of the Socialists of the Republic of Moldova, won 20.5 per cent or 25 seats, marginally ahead of the pro- European Liberal Democratic Party, which achieved 20.2 per cent and 23 seats. The Communist Party saw its elected candidates halved from 42 to 21, making up 17.5 per cent of the vote. Voter turnout was 55.9 per cent. Liberia Senate elections were held in Liberia in December after a two-month delay caused by the Ebola epidemic. All political rallies were banned in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading. The Congress for Democratic Change got the largest share of the vote, a total of 29.8 per cent. The Liberty Party and current Prime Minister Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Union Party followed in second and third places, with 11.5 per cent and 10.3 per cent of the vote respectively. Nearly a quarter of voters chose independent senators. Turnout was low at 25.2 per cent. Tunisia Tunisia held its first presidential and parliamentary elections since the ousting of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had ruled the country since 1989, and the adoption of a new constitution earlier in 2014. Parliamentary elections were held in October, with Nidaa Tounes (the Call of Tunisia Party) emerging as the strongest contender. The party, which consists largely of the moderate and secular left, won a total of 86 seats, or 37.6 per cent of the vote. The Ennahda movement, a party affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, took second place with 69 seats, or 27.8 per cent. Voter turnout totalled 69 per cent. Presidential elections followed on 23 November, with a second round runoff held in December. Béji Caïd Essebsi of Nidaa Tounes was elected with 55.7 per cent of the run-off vote, defeating Moncef Marzouki, who represented the centre-left Congress for the Republic Party. Of the 64.6 per cent turnout, voting was divided on north–south lines, the country’s north voting for Essebsi, the south for Marzouki. 10 l www.global -br ief ing.org f i rst quar ter 2015 global


Global issue 20
To see the actual publication please follow the link above