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Recent Elections Archive: 2007
JANUARY
25 - The Gambia: The ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) continued its dominance in the country’s National Assembly following legislative elections. Opposition candidates fared poorly in the polls, while one independent candidate managed to obtain a seat. Voter turnout was low, but slightly higher than in the September 2006 presidential election. Citing the arrest and detention of a few candidates during the campaign period, some opposition politicians denounced the entire process as flawed. The few local observers, however, gave a more positive evaluation of the poll. While the vote may have been procedurally free, the dominant party system continues to tilt the electoral playing field in favor of the ruling party.
 
FEBRUARY
17 - Lesotho: After a heated campaign, the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili won a third term in office. The LCD managed to fend off a challenge from the newly founded All Basotho Convention (ABC) party of former government minister Tom Thabane. The election was considered one of the most competitive in the country’s recent electoral history. The LCD, which won all but one of the constituency seats in the 2002 election, saw its majority reduced to 61 in 2007. Most of the losses were in urban areas, which largely gave its support to the opposition. Of the 40 seats filled through proportional representation, the LCD-allied National Independent Party (NIP) obtained 21 seats. The Lesotho Worker’s Party (LWP), an alliance partner of the All Basotho Convention, was awarded 10 seats. Despite charges by some members of the opposition that there were problems with the voters’ roll and that the snap election wasn’t fair, observers roundly endorsed the poll as transparent and having reflected the will of the electorate.
25 - Senegal: Incumbent Abdoulaye Wade easily won a second term in office following presidential elections. There were clashes in a few areas during the campaign period, but much of the country remained peaceful. With the exception of an incident in the Casamance region, election day was also calm and orderly. International observers declared the poll generally free and fair, although a few candidates contested the outcome and filed an appeal against the provisional results. It was rejected by the country’s constitutional council, which upheld the results.
 
MARCH
11 - Mauritania: After the country’s first open presidential election since gaining independence in 1960, none of the 20 candidates obtained a majority of votes cast, thus requiring a second round run-off between the two highest scoring candidates on 25 March. Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, an independent who held several ministerial portfolios in the government of ousted President Maaouya Ould Taya, finished first with 24.80% of the vote. Ahmed Ould Daddah, a veteran politician and candidate of the Rally of Democratic Forces (RFD) party, will oppose Abdallahi after finishing second with 20.69% of the vote. Campaigning and election day itself were very peaceful. International observers, including those from the European Union (EU), have described the polls as free, fair, and transparent.
25 - Mauritania: Independent candidate Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi has won the run-off presidential election. His opponent, Ahmed Ould Daddah of the Rally of Democratic Forces (RFD), conceded defeat and congratulated Abdallahi on his victory. Like the previous round, there were no serious problems or irregularities on election day, and observers have characterized the vote as free, fair, and transparent. With the series of elections completed, the country's transition from military to civilian, democratic rule will take place on 19 April, when Abdallahi takes office.
31 - Benin: In National Assembly elections seen as a test of President Yayi Boni’s popularity, his supporters – the Cauri Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) won a plurality of the contested seats. Although organizational problems caused a one-week delay in polling, election day was largely peaceful. Observers, while noting minor problems and isolated irregularities, considered the election largely free and fair.
 
APRIL
4 - Madagascar: Voters approved a series of constitutional amendments in a national referendum. The changes include an expansion of presidential powers during states of emergency, reorganization of the country’s administrative divisions, and the addition of English as the third official language (after French and Malagasy).
21 - Nigeria: Pivotal national elections ended in a controversial victory for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Its presidential candidate, Katsina State governor Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, easily defeated other candidates and will succeed Olusegun Obasanjo at the end of May. In the country’s National Assembly, the PDP won large majorities in both the House and Senate. The process that led up to election day was problematic with disputes over the accuracy of the voters’ register, candidate eligibility, the independence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and instances of politically-motivated violence. Election day itself deviated little from this pattern. Observers, both local and international, were equally critical of the polls with some arguing for a complete re-run of the vote. European Union (EU) observers described both the national and state elections conducted a week earlier as having failed to meet international standards for democratic elections. They cited problems such as poor organization, lack of transparency, procedural irregularities, ballot fraud, voter disenfranchisement, and violence as reasons for their conclusion.
29 - Mali: Independent incumbent Amadou Toumani Touré, supported by a coalition of over forty political parties, easily won re-election. Although widely expected to win, Touré’s substantial margin of victory (71.20% of the vote) came as a surprise to some political analysts. Four presidential candidates from various political parties grouped together in an opposition alliance known as the Front for Democracy and the Republic (FDR), claimed that the polls were flawed and contested the provisional final results. Election observers, however, endorsed the election as free and fair. The country’s Constitutional Court dismissed the fraud claims on 12 May and upheld Touré’s victory.
 
MAY
6 - Burkina Faso: Low key National Assembly elections resulted in an increased majority for President Blaise Compaoré’s Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party. Some opposition parties claimed that state funds were used to finance the ruling party’s campaign. They also charged that changes made to the country’s election law in 2004, which increased the number of electoral districts, put smaller parties at a disadvantage as they were unable to field candidates and polling observers in each one. The lackluster campaign and election day were largely peaceful. Observers did not cite any large-scale irregularities, although the Constitutional Council did cancel the results from a few polling stations where problems were reported. The final outcome and seat distribution, however, were unaffected.
10-12 - Seychelles: Results from the country’s National Assembly election confirmed the ruling Seychelles People’s Progressive Front’s (SPPF) hold on power. The outcome, which was exactly the same as the previous election in 2002, saw the ruling party win 23 out of 34 seats and the opposition Seychelles National Party (SNP; in an alliance with the Democratic Party) 11. SNP leader Wavel Ramkalawan congratulated the SPPF on its victory, but also stated that the country’s entire electoral process needed re-examining. The election was reportedly peaceful and well organized overall, although minor problems such as names being missing from the voters’ register occurred in a few areas.
 
JUNE
3 - Senegal: In National Assembly elections boycotted by some of the country’s largest opposition parties, the ruling Sopi 2007 coalition won a landslide majority in the newly-enlarged legislative body. The opposition called the boycott to protest President Abdoulaye Wade’s victory in February’s presidential election, which they say was marred by widespread fraud, but was declared largely free and fair by election observers. Election day was reportedly peaceful throughout the country, but turnout was very low with around 35% of the five million registered voters casting votes. This compares with 71% in the February 2007 presidential election and 67% in the April 2001 legislative election.
24 June - Congo-Brazzaville: In the first round of National Assembly elections, 44 candidates who achieved an absolute majority in their respective constituencies won seats. Most came from the ruling Congolese Labor Party (PCT) and allied smaller parties. While polling was generally peaceful on election day, voter participation was low. There were reports of under-age voting as well as other irregularities in some areas, but the major problem turned out to be the poor organization of the election. Members of the participating opposition parties denounced the results and alleged that significant fraud had taken place. On 8 and 15 July, new elections were held in 19 constituencies where the most serious problems occurred during the first attempt. Due largely to the organizational problems encountered in the first round, the second round of elections will take place on 5 August instead of the original date of 22 July.
 
JULY
1 - Mali: In the first round of National Assembly elections, only 13 out of the 147 seats were decided. All were won by members of the Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP) coalition, which consists of supporters of President Amadou Toumani Touré. Voter turnout was low at around 33%. Election day was peaceful with no major incidents reported.
22 - Cameroon: Results from the country’s National Assembly election produced another overwhelming victory for the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (RDPC). The party also performed well in the concurrent municipal elections. The opposition contested the results and declared the outcome as flawed. The Cameroonian Supreme Court did annul the results in five districts (affecting a total of 17 seats) but largely upheld the RDPC’s victory. Local observers have criticized aspects of the poll’s conduct as well as foreign diplomats who described the process as marred by irregularities.
22 - Mali: The Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP) coalition continued its winning streak in the second round of National Assembly elections. According to the final results, the ADP will have a comfortable majority in the new legislature. The second round of voting was considered by observers to be well organized although the turnout was low.
 
AUGUST
5 - Congo-Brazzaville: The delayed second round of National Assembly elections were dominated by the ruling Congolese Labor Party (PCT) and its allies. The organizational problems that marred the first round of polling were also reported in the run-off including incorrect voter lists as well as some citizens who registered to vote but failed to receive the voter card required to cast a ballot. African Union observers made note of these irregularities and criticized the low voter turnout.
11 - Sierra Leone: A crucial national election seen as a test of the country’s democratic consolidation produced a surprising outcome. In the presidential election, none of the seven candidates reached the 55% threshold needed to avoid a run-off. Ernest Bai Koroma of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party finished ahead of Vice President and Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) candidate Solomon Berewa. The two will face each other in a second round vote on 8 September. Prior to the final declaration of results, Koroma received the support of third place finisher Charles Margai. Margai, an ex-SLPP member, formed the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) party in early 2006 and was nominated as its presidential candidate. Control of the country’s parliament, the House of Representatives, changed hands. The ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party saw its representation decline from 83 seats in 2002 to 43 in 2007. The All People’s Congress is now in the majority after winning 59 seats, a substantial increase from the 27 seats that the party won in 2002. The PMDC won the remaining 10 seats. Candidates were elected in single-member constituencies using the first-past-the-post (or simple majority) system instead of the party-list proportional representation system used in 2002. Although a few violent incidents were reported during the campaign period, election day was largely peaceful, calm, and orderly. Both local and international observers have praised the poll’s conduct as free and fair. In its preliminary statement, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) described the election as open and competitive, professionally organized, and representing a positive step towards the building of sustainable democracy in the country.
 
SEPTEMBER
8 - Sierra Leone: The All People’s Congress (APC) candidate Ernest Bai Koroma defeated Solomon Berewa of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in the presidential run-off election. Berewa conceded defeat and Koroma was sworn in a few hours after the final results were declared. Sporadic violence marred campaigning for the run-off and there were reports of irregularities in some areas of the country, but local and international observers declared the election largely free and fair. They also noted that the reported irregularities were not significant enough to alter the final outcome.
23 - Madagascar: The I Love Madagascar (TIM) party of President Marc Ravalomanana won a sizable majority in National Assembly elections. Election day was peaceful, although voter turnout was reportedly low. Observers from the African Union (AU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) monitored the polls, which they described as well-organized.
 
OCTOBER
14 - Togo: In legislative elections, the ruling Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) maintained its majority in the National Assembly. All major opposition political parties participated in the election, the first time this had occurred since a multiparty system was introduced in the early 1990s. The main opposition Union of Forces for Change (UFC) won 27 seats, followed by the Action Committee for Renewal (CAR) with four. Voter participation was high and there were no major incidents reported on election day. International observers described the polls as well-organized and largely transparent.
 
DECEMBER
27 - Kenya: President Mwai Kibaki was returned to office for a second term, although his supporters lost their majority in the National Assembly. Observers from the European Union (EU) and other organizations noted the competitive nature of the polls and the high voter turnout, but stated that the elections had fallen short of international and regional standards for democratic elections. They reported a lack of transparency in the processing and tallying of presidential results, which raised concerns about the accuracy of the final outcome. On the other hand, the legislative election results were viewed as largely credible.
 
 
 
 
 

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