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Recent Elections Archive: 2006
22 - Cape Verde: The ruling African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) retained power in National Assembly elections, winning an absolute majority of votes cast. The main opposition Movement for Democracy (MpD) maintained its significant presence in the legislative body. The Independent and Democratic Cape Verdean Union (UCID), who chose to only field candidates in one constituency (Săo Vicente), managed to win two seats. Although minor technical problems were reported in a few areas on election day, the polls were considered free, fair, and transparent by observers.
12 - Cape Verde: Incumbent Pedro Pires of the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) narrowly defeated Carlos Veiga, a former Prime Minister and candidate of the opposition Movement for Democracy (MpD) in presidential elections. The votes of Cape Verdeans in the diaspora played a significant roll in the poll's outcome. While Veiga won 50.01% nationally compared to Pires' 49.99% (a difference of 24 votes), he won only 34.86% of the diaspora vote, tipping the outcome in favor of Pires. Like all other elections that have taken place in this island nation since 1991, the campaign and electoral process were conducted in a free, fair, and transparent manner.
23 - Uganda:
5 - Benin: In elections to choose a successor to incumbent President Mathieu Kérékou, none of the 26 candidates captured the absolute majority required to avoid a run-off. The two frontrunners - Yayi Boni, an economist standing as an independent candidate and Adrien Houngbédji, a veteran politician who heads the Democratic Renewal Party (PRD) - will face each other in a second round later this month. The campaign period was reportedly calm, orderly and peaceful. Logistical problems were reported in some areas on election day, but had no significant effect on the poll's outcome. Observers have endorsed the election as having been free, fair, and transparent.
10 & 31 - Djibouti: The ruling People's Rally for Progress (RPP) won a majority of seats in all of the country's regional and communal assemblies.
19 - Benin: In the presidential run-off, independent candidate Yayi Boni defeated Adrien Houngbédji of the Democratic Renewal Party (PRD). The hastily organized poll took place in an atmosphere of calm with fewer administrative delays reported when compared to the first round. Election observers declared the poll generally free and fair.
16 - Comoros: Voters on the island of Anjouan went to the polls in the first stage of a two round process meant to choose a successor to incumbent President Azali Assoumani. Out of a field of thirteen candidates, the top three finishers - Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi, Mohamed Djaanfari, and Ibrahim Halidi - will compete in a nationwide election (second round) on 14 May. Election day was largely peaceful, although delays were reported at some polling stations. Observers declared the poll generally free and fair.
3 - Chad: Idriss Déby Itno, candidate of the ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS), easily won a third term in office against four lesser-known politicians. Major opposition parties boycotted the election after the government failed to delay the poll and institute electoral reforms. Despite threats by rebel groups to disrupt voting throughout the country, election day was largely peaceful. The electoral commission reported a turnout of slightly over 60%, a figure that is highly disputed by journalists and the opposition, who say that participation was extremely low.
14 - Comoros: Moderate Islamist Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi, who finished first in the 16 April Anjouan primary, defeated two other candidates in a nationwide election. Observers declared the poll credible and transparent. Sambi's inauguration will mark the first transfer of power between elected civilian presidents since the country's independence in 1975.
25 - Mauritania: Citizens endorsed a new constitution that introduces presidential term limits by an overwhelming majority. Acceptance of the document means that elections scheduled for late 2006 and early 2007 will take place as planned. No major incidents were reported during the campaign period or on election day. Election observers praised the conduct and administration of the poll.
28-30 - Seychelles: Incumbent President James Michel of the Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF) secured a narrow victory in his first election since taking office in April 2004. Opposition candidate Wavel Ramkalawan, representing an alliance of his Seychelles National Party (SNP) and the Democratic Party (DP), conceded defeat soon after the outcome was apparent. A third candidate, Philippe Boulle, won less than 1% of the vote. Observers considered the poll largely free and fair. 
30 - Congo-Kinshasa: Historic elections, the first multiparty poll in 41 years, took place with thirty-three candidates competing for the presidency. Incumbent President Joseph Kabila finished first, but failed to secure the majority required for an outright victory. He will face John-Pierre Bemba of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) in an October run-off election. The election was deemed credible by observers from the European Union (EU) and the Carter Center.
30 - Săo Tomé and Príncipe: Fradique de Menezes maintained his position in the country's fourth multiparty presidential election. His main opponent Patrice Trovoada (son of former President Miguel Trovoada), who was supported by nine political parties which included his Independent Democratic Action (ADI) party and the Movement for the Liberation of Săo Tomé and Príncipe-Social Democratic Party (MLSTP-PSD), finished a distant second to the incumbent. A third candidate, independent Nilo Guimarăes, won less than 1% of the vote. Election observers praised the peaceful campaign period and deemed the entire process free, fair, and transparent.
22 - The Gambia: President Yahya Jammeh of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party secured a third term in office, defeating two candidates from the country's divided opposition. Ousainou Darboe, who finished second and represented a three-party coalition, rejected the result claiming that intimidation of voters and the media prevented a fair poll from taking place. In its interim statement, the Commonwealth observer mission praised the Independent Electoral Commission's handling of the election, noting that "the process on election day was well organized and voters were able to express their will." Despite this, the group highlighted events in the lead up to election day that "had the potential of affecting the outcome." These included instances of abuse of the incumbency, such as the use of state security services to demonstrate support for President Jammeh and biased state media coverage during the campaign period. It was also noted that the government failed to adhere to a Commonwealth-backed memorandum of understanding that was supposed to strengthen the democratic process in the country by creating a level playing field between the incumbent and opposition candidates.
28 - Zambia: Incumbent President Levy Mwanawasa of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) won a second and final term in office following a hotly contested election. The main challenger, Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front (PF) acknowledged Mwanawasa's victory but claimed that the vote was "stolen" through poll fraud and other irregularities. Sata initially led by a substantial margin when the first results were released by the electoral commission. This lead, however, continued to diminish and Mwanawasa eventually overtook him, as tallies from remote areas of the country were known. Angered Patriotic Front supporters responded by rioting in parts of Lusaka and the Copperbelt province, which ended with police intervention. In the concurrent National Assembly elections, four parties (the MMD, PF, United Liberal Party, and the National Democratic Focus), one coalition (the three-party United Democratic Alliance), and two independents won seats in the country's legislative body. Local government elections were also held. Observers' verdicts on the election's legitimacy were unanimous in noting that the polls represented a significant improvement over the controversial 2001 vote, which was marred by serious irregularities. The European Union Election Observation Mission described the elections as "generally well administered" with the Electoral Commission of Zambia managing the polls in an "independent and largely professional manner." The generally peaceful campaign period was also praised. The mission noted that the legal framework provided for the conducting of democratic elections, but reforms were needed in some key areas. Other problems raised included insufficient legal provisions to regulate campaign spending by parties and candidates, omissions from the final voter list suggesting imperfections in voter registration, and bias in the state-owned Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation's news coverage that favored the ruling party.
29 - Congo-Kinshasa: Joseph Kabila easily defeated his opponent Jean-Pierre Bemba in the presidential run-off election. Bemba contested the result, but eventually accepted the Congolese Supreme Court's ruling that validated Kabila's victory. Provincial assembly elections also took place. Election day was largely calm in most areas, although incidents of violence were reported in the northern Equateur Province and in the eastern region of Ituri. Polling was repeated in the violence-affected areas over the following days. Most election observer missions noted that the vote counting process was quicker and smoother than in the first round. They also concluded that, while there were incidents of irregularities and fraud, the number of votes affected weren't significant enough to alter the final outcome.
19 - Mauritania: In the first round of National Assembly elections, 43 out of 95 seats were decided. The remaining 52 seats will be filled in a second round on 3 December. Concurrent municipal elections were also held.
03 - Madagascar: President Marc Ravalomanana defeated 13 other challengers and won a second five-year term in office. Fears that the poll might rekindle the political animosities that appeared during the 2001 presidential election proved largely unfounded. While the lead up to the vote was largely calm, there was a botched coup attempt in November. Election day was also generally peaceful, although voters reportedly burned a ballot box in the city of Toliara. Some opposition candidates initially contested the results and there were reports of irregularities, but election observers declared the vote largely free and fair. The country's High Constitutional Court found no evidence of widespread irregularities and confirmed Ravalomanana's victory.
03 - Mauritania: A coalition of former opposition parties will form the largest bloc in the National Assembly after the holding of a second round run-off election. A significant number of independents won representation in the legislative body. The former ruling party was reduced to seven seats. Peaceful conditions prevailed throughout the campaign period and both rounds of voting. Observers described the election as largely free, fair, and transparent.
17 - GabonThe ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) and its allies maintained control of the National Assembly in legislative elections. The opposition, which largely boycotted the 2001 vote, chose to participate and increased its representation in the body. The lackluster campaign period was followed by a generally peaceful election day, although logistical problems in several electoral districts caused the vote to be delayed by a week in the affected areas. Voter turnout was reportedly low throughout the country. As with all elections held in Gabon since multiparty politics were introduced in the early 1990's, the poll's fairness can be questioned due to the ruling party's overwhelming control of state resources and the lack of an equal playing field for the political opposition.

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