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AFRICAN ELECTIONS DATABASE

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Recent Elections Archive: 2005
APRIL
08 - Djibouti: Incumbent president lsmaïl Omar Guelleh won 100% of the valid votes cast in an uncontested presidential election. The opposition did not field a candidate and urged its supporters to boycott the poll because of suspected vote rigging by the government. Voter turnout was reportedly high. On Election Day, there were reports of clashes between police and opposition supporters in some areas.
24 - Togo: Faure Gnassingbé, son of the late president Gnassingbé Eyadéma and candidate of the Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party, won a disputed presidential election with 60% of the vote. The campaign period was marred by violent clashes between opposition and ruling party supporters. Election day was peaceful is some areas of the country, but incidents were reported that called into question the legitimacy of the poll. The most significant incident occurred when armed men in military uniforms raided the headquarters of the opposition, seizing computers that were going to be used to collate election results. After the election, observers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) declared the election generally free and fair despite some irregularities. Most domestic observers and international governments, however, viewed the poll as flawed. Widespread violence was reported in the capital and other regions following the announcement of provisional results. The U.S. State Department said in a 26 April press release after provisional results were released that "the elections fell short of the aspirations of the Togolese people" while noting irregularities in voter registration and voter card distribution prior to the election and flaws in voting procedures on Election day. The main opposition candidate, Emmanuel Bob-Akitani of the six party coalition led by the Union of Forces for Change (UFC), immediately rejected the result claiming widespread irregularities and vote rigging. The opposition has also rejected calls for a government of national unity. Final results were released on 3 May by the Constitutional Court confirming Gnassingbé’s win. The Court said an opposition appeal stating that the election had been rigged, "lacks substance, evidence and merit".
30 - Lesotho: The first local elections since independence were held. Turnout was mixed with lower turnout in the urban areas and higher participation in rural areas. The atmosphere was peaceful with no major incidents reported.
 
MAY
08 - Central African Republic: In the second round of Presidential elections, Incumbent François Bozizé easily defeated Martin Ziguélé, a former Prime Minister and candidate of the Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People (MLPC). In Legislative elections, the pro-Bozizé National Convergence "Kwa Na Kwa" won the most seats in the National Assembly. Observers considered the election generally free and fair. Due to the holding of generally free and fair legislative elections that returns the nation to civilian rule, the Central African Republic will now be considered an "Emerging Democracy" on this site pending further evaluation at the end of 2005 (when it may be re-classified as a "Democracy").
15 - Ethiopia: Final results from the 15 May House of People’s Representatives Election show the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition winning enough seats to form the next government. Their majority, however, is substantially reduced. The opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF) will have a significant voice in the new house after resounding victories in Addis Ababa and other urban areas. Although the polling was initially praised by observers as the most open and democratic elections in the country’s long history, the overall process fell short of international standards for democratic elections. Most problems arose after the 15 May polls including protests which turned deadly in June, flaws in the electoral appeals process, and poorly organized 21 August elections in the Somali region.
 
JUNE
03 - Burundi: In communal elections, the former rebel National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) won approximately 55% of the seats. The Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) party of President Domitien Ndayizeye placed second, winning approximately a quarter of seats in the poll. The election was largely peaceful in most parts of the country, however, violence and intimidation in some communes of Bujumbura Rural and Bubanza provinces led to a re-poll held on 7 June. Observers considered the communal elections generally free and fair, despite some minor irregularities.
06 - Chad: The results of a referendum to change the country’s constitution have been announced with a large majority in favor of allowing incumbent President Idriss Deby to run for a third term. Opposition leaders have denounced the results, charging massive fraud.
19 - Guinea-Bissau: In presidential elections, Malam Bacai Sanhá of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) won the most votes but failed to win the 50% required to avoid a run-off. He will face former President João Bernardo "Nino" Vieira, running as an independent. Voting was peaceful throughout the country. Election observers have unanimously declared the poll free, fair, transparent, and well run.
 
JULY
03 - Mauritius: In National Assembly elections, the opposition Social Alliance (AS), led by the Mauritius Labour Party (MLP) of Navin Ramgoolam, defeated the ruling Mauritian Militant Movement-Mauritian Socialist Movement (MMM-MSM) coalition by a larger than predicted margin. Prime Minster Paul Bérenger has conceded defeat and accepted the results. Election Day was peaceful with only one minor incident reported. Election observers declared the poll free, fair, and transparent, which cements Mauritius’ position as one of Africa’s most successful democracies.
04 - Burundi: In National Assembly elections, the former rebel National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) has won a majority, followed by the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) of President Ndayizeye and the Union for National Progress (UPRONA). Major parties have accepted defeat and have accepted the results. Although isolated violent incidents were reported during the campaign period, Election Day itself was largely peaceful. Election observers have uniformly praised the process and deemed the poll generally free and fair.
24 - Guinea-Bissau: In the second round of presidential elections, independent candidate and former president João Bernardo "Nino" Vieira defeated Malam Bacai Sanhá of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). Election observers declared the poll generally free and fair.
28 - Uganda: In a referendum on the country's political system, over 90% of voters supported the re-instatement of multiparty politics over the current non-party "Movement" system. Enthusiasm for the poll was muted, however, as both the government and opposition supported a return to a multiparty system. Some political groupings boycotted the poll claiming that it would legitimize 19 years of rule by an effective one-party state. Other groups suggested the $12.5 million spent on the referendum might have been put to better use. Election day was peaceful, but voter turnout was lower than expected. Some observers noted the lack of voter education as a factor that may have inhibited a higher turnout.
29 - Burundi: In indirect elections to the Senate, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) won an overwhelming majority (30) of the seats. The Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) won 3 seats, while the remaining seat went the National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD), a breakaway faction of the CNDD-FDD. Four former heads of state - Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (PARENA), Pierre Buyoya (UPRONA), Sylvestre Ntibantunganya (FRODEBU), and the current transitional president Domitien Ndayizeye (FRODEBU) will occupy seats in the Senate along with three Twa members. In order to meet the 30% quota for women, eight seats were co-opted giving the chamber of total of 49 seats.
 
AUGUST
24 - Burundi: In a joint session of parliament, National Assembly deputies and Senators acting as an Electoral College endorsed Pierre Nkurunziza of the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) as president by a margin of 151 to 9 with 1 abstention and 1 invalid vote.
 
SEPTEMBER
23 - Burundi: In Hill (Village) level elections, the first since independence, voters went to the polls to elect 14,560 local leaders out of 44,724 candidates who were all contesting as independent candidates. Each Hill (Village) council will consist of five members who are mandated to arbitrate and settle disputes in their communities as well as propose and oversee development schemes for their community. Voter turnout was lower than in previous elections and despite a generally peaceful atmosphere in most of the country, there were isolated incidents of violence reported in some areas.
29 - Somaliland: In the breakaway region’s first House of Representatives election, the ruling Unity of Democrats Party (UDUB) of President Dahir Riyale Kahin won the most seats, but fell short of a majority. The main opposition Solidarity (KULMIYE) party won 28 seats, only five fewer than UDUB’s 33, while the Justice and Welfare Party (UCID) won 21 seats in the 82-member house. Election observers concluded that the polls were conducted in a peaceful atmosphere and were generally free and fair. They added, however, that the vote had fallen short of meeting several international standards.
 
OCTOBER
02 - Mauritius: The Social Alliance (AS), just two months after its victory in National Assembly elections, won control of all five towns in municipal elections. In four of the towns (Curepipe, Port Louis, Quatre Bornes, and Vacoas-Phoenix), the coalition captured all of the available seats, while the opposition Mauritian Militant Movement-Mauritian Socialist Movement-Mauritian Social-Democratic Party (MMM-MSM-PMSD) coalition managed to win only four seats in the town of Beau Bassin-Rose Hill. Voter turnout for the elections was 40.5%, higher than in the 2001 municipal council elections.
11 - Liberia: A total of 22 presidential candidates participated in the country’s first elections since the end of a devastating civil war in 2003. No candidate managed to win the required 50% of the vote to avoid a run-off. Ex-soccer (football) player George Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) will face veteran politician Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, candidate of the Unity Party (UP), in a run-off scheduled for 8 November. In concurrent legislative elections, the four-party Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia (COTOL) won the most (7 of 30) Senate seats and the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) placed first in the House of Representatives, winning 15 of 64 seats.
30 - Zanzibar (Tanzania): Incumbent President Amani Abeid Karume of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) was re-elected, although by a smaller margin than his victory in 2000. The CCM also managed to maintain its majority in the local House of Representatives. Opposition candidate Seif Shariff Hamad and his Civic United Front (CUF) party have rejected the results citing irregularities and intimidation of its supporters. The other four candidates, all of whom won less than 1% of the vote, accepted the outcome. The campaign period was marred by incidents of violence mainly between CCM and CUF supporters. This statement from the European Union (EU) best reflects the prevailing opinion of election monitors on the conduct and legitimacy of the polls: "We note the broad assessment by international observer groups that the electoral process was a marked improvement on past polls, and that it was generally administered in an efficient manner. Nevertheless, there were instances, particularly on Unguja [Zanzibar], where there were irregularities and a lack of transparency. A number of observer groups have called for a thorough investigation of these anomalies."
 
NOVEMBER
08 - Liberia: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the Unity Party (UP) has defeated George Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) in the run-off presidential election. Johnson-Sirleaf will thus become the first elected female president of an African country. Weah has alleged that the elections were marred by irregularities and fraud, although the verdict of local and international observers is that the second round was of polling was generally free, fair, and transparent. Any reported irregularities were minor and could have not altered the outcome.
13 - Burkina Faso: President Blaise Compaoré of the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) was easily re-elected against a divided opposition. Based on final results, Compaoré won eight out of every ten votes cast. Despite their dismal performance, this was the first presidential election since the re-introduction of multiparty politics in 1991 that had significant opposition participation. The campaign period and election day were largely peaceful. Observers from the African Union (AU) have declared the election generally free and fair, although some opposition candidates have criticized Compaoré’s extravagant campaign spending and alleged that irregularities took place on election day.
21 - Kenya: Voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposed constitution in a nation-wide referendum. President Mwai Kibaki, a supporter of the constitution, conceded defeat in a poll that had divided the nation and even his cabinet. Violence and the deaths of nine people marred the campaign period. Fears of Election Day violence were unfounded as people peacefully turned out in high numbers to cast their votes. Observers have declared the referendum free and fair.
26 - Zimbabwe: The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) won elections for a recently created Senate that were marked by low voter participation and a split in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Prior to the election, ZANU-PF was already assured of winning at least 35 seats in the 66-member body (Ruling party candidates ran unopposed in 19 constituencies, 6 members will be appointed by the President, and 10 seats will be occupied by pro-government traditional chiefs). Another factor that worked in favor of ZANU-PF, as mentioned earlier, is the internal dispute within the opposition MDC over whether or not to participate in the Senate poll. While MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai urged a boycott some party members, fearing ZANU-PF penetration into their strongholds, defied Tsvangirai and contested the election. This dispute has significantly weakened the once cohesive party. Although the period and election day were generally peaceful, conditions for the holding of free and fair elections currently don’t exist in the country.
27 - Gabon: President Omar Bongo Ondimba of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) easily won another seven-year term following elections that will prolong his 38-year stint in power. Factors such as a fragmented opposition and heavy use of state resources ensured an almost certain victory for the incumbent. Opposition candidates have denounced the poll and alleged that serious irregularities took place on election day. While observers have given an overall positive assessment of the election, its fairness can be questioned due to notable abuse of the incumbency.
 
DECEMBER
11 - Mauritius: Elections for the country’s 123 village councils took place. Out of 445,537 registered voters, 51.9% participated in the polls.
14 - Tanzania: Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) was elected president by a wide margin, defeating nine other candidates. The CCM also maintained its dominance of the National Assembly and local councils in concurrent elections. Election day was peaceful on the mainland, but marred by violent incidents on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. Although some presidential candidates have contested the results, observers have declared the poll generally free and fair - it should be noted that the ruling party had the advantage of state resources and received a disproportionate amount of media coverage when compared to the opposition.
18 - Guinea: Local elections, seen as a test of the government’s commitment to democratic reform, were held in 38 (urban) communes and 303 rural communities. Unlike previous national elections, all major political parties participated in the poll. Out of the 38 communes, the ruling Party for Unity and Progress (PUP) won 31, followed by the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) with 3, Union for Progress and Renewal (UPR) with 2, and one each for the Union of the Republican Forces (UFR) and Union of the Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG). In the 303 rural communities, the PUP won 241, the RPG 35, UPR 19, UFR 1, the National Alliance for Progress (ANP) 1, and the Union for the Progress of Guinea (UPG) 1. In the five remaining rural communities, no party secured a majority. 58.2% of the 5,013,446 registered voters participated in the election. Despite opposition charges of massive fraud, observers described the conduct of the polls as essentially peaceful and orderly despite isolated incidents. They did, however, list a string of procedural problems, including supplies shortages, the use of false identification papers and the improper supervision of voting by election officials.
18 & 19 - Congo-Kinshasa: Final results show that voters have endorsed a draft constitution that paves the way for national elections to take place in 2006. Support for document was highest in areas where lawlessness and outbreaks of violence are still common. Observers representing a wide variety of local and international organizations have declared the poll generally free and fair. Isolated incidents of irregularities and intimidation were reported, but not to an extent to question the legitimacy of the poll.
 
 
 
 
 

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