Year in Review - April 2013

Dec. 22, 2013, noon

Montenegro (April 7, 2013): Presidential elections were held in Montenegro on April 7, 2013. The election pitted President Filip VUJANOVIĆ, who had served as Montenegro’s President since independence in 2006, against Miodrag LEKIĆ. VUJANOVIĆ won re-election, winning 51.21 percent of the votes in the election. LEKIĆ claimed that VUJANOVIĆ only won through electoral fraud, and filed a claim for a recount of the vote.

Venezuela (April 14, 2013): Following the death of President Hugo CHÁVEZ Frías on March 5, 2013, Venezuela was left without a president. The election pitted Nicolás MADURO Moras, who served as CHÁVEZ’s vice-president, against opposition leader Henrique CAPRILES Radonksi, who had lost the October 2012 presidential election to CHÁVEZ by 11 percentage points. In the run-up to the election, opinion polling showed MADURO winning by a margin of more than 10 percent. When final election results were released, MADURO did in fact defeat CAPRILES, but by a very narrow margin, winning by a vote of 50.62 percent to 49.12 percent. Following the election, CAPRILES claimed that the results were fraudulent; however, an audit conducted by the election commission, upheld the results of the election.

Croatia (April 14, 2013): Ahead of Croatia’s entry into the European Union on July 1, 2013, elections were held to elect Croatia’s 12 members of the European Parliament (EP). In the election, the centre-right coalition led by the Croatian Democratic Union / Hrvatska demokratska zajednica (HDZ) won the most seats, after taking 32.86 percent of the vote. This total meant that they would have 6 seats in the European Parliament. The governing Social Democratic Party / Socijaldemokratska partija Hrvatske won the second most seats, winning 32.07 percent of the vote and 5 seats in the European Parliament. Of the candidates winning election, five joined the EP political group the European People’s Party (EPP), and another 5 joined the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). Turnout for the election was 20.8 percent, the lowest for a national election in Croatia, and the second lowest for an EP election.

Paraguay (April 21, 2013): General elections were held in Paraguay on April 21, 2013 to elect the president, 45 members of the Chamber of Senators, and 80 members of the Chamber of Deputies. President Fernando LUGO, who was elected in 2008, was impeached in June 2012. His replacement, Federico FRANCO, did not contest the 2013 election. The presidential election was won by Horacio CARTES of the Colorado Party / Partido Colorado, returning the party to power by winning 48.45 percent of the votes. Previously, candidates from the Colorado Party / Partido Colorado had ruled Paraguay from 1948 to 2008. The legislative elections were also won by the Colorado Party / Partido Colorado. In the Chamber of Senators, they won 35.76 percent of the vote and 19 seats, and in the Chamber of Representatives they won 40.99 percent of the vote and 44 seats. In the elections for both bodies, the Authentic Liberal Radical Party / Partido Liberal Radical Autentico finished second, winning 24.36 percent (12 seats) in the Chamber of Senators, and 29.25 percent (27 seats) in the Chamber of Representatives.

French Polynesia (April 21 and May 5, 2013): Elections to the Territorial Assembly / Assembleé Territoriale take place over two rounds. In the first round, ballots are cast on the basis of proportional representation. After the first round of voting, parties who have attained at least 12.5 percent of the vote move on to a second round. In the second round, 38 seats are determined through proportional representation, with the party winning the most votes gaining an additional 19 seats. Three electoral coalitions passed through from the first round, the Tahoera’a Huiraatira (40.16 percent), the Union for Democracy (24.09 percent), and A Tia Porinetia (19.92 percent), with six others falling short of the threshold. In the second round, Tahoera’a Huiraatira, led by President Gaston FLOSSE, won the most votes, receiving 45.11 percent of the vote and 38 seats in the Assembly. The Union for Democracy finished second, with 29.26 percent of the vote and 11 seats, while A Tia Porinetia finished third with 25.63 percent of the vote and 8 seats.

Bhutan (April 23, 2013): Following the first nationwide elections in 2008, Bhutanese voters participated in the second nationwide electoral cycle in 2013. The first election was for 25 seats in the National Council / Gyelyong Tshogde. Members of the upper house are not allowed to belong to any political party, and as such, all candidates run as independents. Overall, 67 candidates ran for the 25 seats.  In the election, 168,180 Bhutanese citizens participated.

Iceland (April 27, 2013): Fifteen parties contested elections to the Icelandic Parliament / Althing on April 27, 2013. The election was won by the Independence Party / Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn who won the most votes with 26.70 percent, winning them 19 seats in the Althing. The Independence Party has ruled Iceland for most of its history, and returned to power after four years of rule by the Social Democratic Alliance / Samfylkingin. Losing 10 seats, the Social Democratic Alliance finished the election with 9 seats, after winning 12.85 percent of the vote. Following the election, the Independence Party would enter into government with the Progressive Party / Framsóknarflokkurinn, who won 24.43 percent of the votes, and 19 seats. The two Eurosceptic parties have put a hold on Iceland’s attempts to join the European Union.

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