Year in Review - July 2013

Dec. 25, 2013, 9:51 p.m.

Saint Helena (July 17, 2013): Elections to the Legislative Council of Saint Helena were held on July 17, 2013. A new election law was used for the election, wherein all 12 candidates are elected by block vote in one constituency. Previously, candidates were elected in two electoral constituencies. The election was contested by 20 candidates, all of which were independent candidates. Overall, 1,261 Saints participated in the election.

Japan (July 21, 2013): The 23rd elections to the House of Councillors (Sangiin) were held on July 21, 2013. At stake in the election were 121 of the 242 seats in the House of Councillors; 73 were elected in prefectural constituencies, and 48 were elected by proportional representation. Coming into the election, the Democratic Party (DPJ) and its coalition partners held a majority in the House of Councillors, with 134 seats. The DPJ received 13.76 percent of the vote, winning 17 seats in the election, representing a loss of 27 seats for the party. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was the big winner of the election, winning 65 seats in the election and receiving 34.95 percent of the vote. The election results mean that the LDP now has 115 seats in the House of Councillors. Together with the 11 seats (20 seats overall) won by their coalition partner, the New Komeito Party (NKP), the LDP-NKP coalition now has a majority in both houses of the Japanese Diet.

Togo (July 25, 2013): Prior to the elections to the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) in July 2013, the size of the body was increased from 81 to 91 seats. The ruling Union for the Republic / Union pour la République (UNIR) received the most votes in the election, winning 41.28 percent of the vote and 62 seats in the National Assembly. The Save Togo Group / Collectif Sauvons le Togo (CST) won the second most votes in the election with 34.45 percent of the vote (19 seats). Opposition deputies boycotted the first sitting of the National Assembly in September, and as a result, all Bureau posts have been filled by UNIR members.

Kuwait (July 27, 2013): On June 16, 2013, the National Assembly (Majlis al-Umma) was dissolved by the Constitutional Court after they annulled the results of the December 2012 election. The election allowed voters only one vote, whereas previously they were able to vote for 4 candidates. Elections in Kuwait remain non-partisan, as political parties are not legal in Kuwait. Voter turnout was 52 percent for the election. Of the candidates elected, 30 are pro-government independents Sunnis, 9 are liberals, 8 are Shias, and 3 are Sunni Muslims. Two women were elected to the National Assembly.

Mali (July 28 and August 11, 2013): Following a military coup d’état in March 2012, presidential elections in Mali had been delayed to 2013. In total, 28 candidates participated in the first round of the election. Former Prime Minister of Mali and President of the National Assembly of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar KEÏTA received the most votes in the first round of the election, with 39.78 percent. As KEÏTA did not obtain an absolute majority, he would face a run-off against Soumaïla CISSÉ, who won 19.70 percent of the vote. In the run-off election, KEÏTA won the election with 77.62 percent of the vote, to the 22.39 percent won by CISSÉ. The election of KEÏTA would allow parliamentary elections to occur later in November 2013.

Cambodia (July 28, 2013): Elections to the National Assembly (Rotsaphea) were held on July 28, 2013. Opposition leader of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CRNP) SAM Rainsy had been living in exile since a 2010 conviction. Shortly before the election, SAM received a royal pardon, but was unable to vote or run as a candidate, as his name did not appear on the voter roll. The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) of Prime Minister HUN Sen, won the most seats in the election with 48.83 percent of the vote, and 68 seats. The result was the worst for the CPP since 1998. The CRNP finished the election with 44.46 percent of the vote and 55 seats. Following the election, there were allegations of electoral fraud, and protests have occurred in Cambodia since the election.

Northern Cyprus (July 28, 2013): Early elections to the Assembly of the Republic (Cumhuriyet Meclisi) were held after the government of Prime Minister İrsen KÜÇÜK collapsed in May 2013, following the departure of 8 deputies from his National Unity Party / Ulusal Birlik Partisi (UBP). Five parties contested the election, with a focus on economic issues and austerity. The Republican Turkish Party / Cumhuriyetçi Türk Partisi, led by İzzet İZCAN won 38.38 percent of the vote, giving them 21 seats in the new Assembly of the Republic. The UBP finished second in the election with 27.33 percent of the vote, and 14 seats. The Democratic Party / Demokrat Parti Ulusal Güçler, to whom the deputies defected to from the UBP, finished third with 23.16 percent of the vote and 12 seats in the Assembly.

Zimbabwe (July 31, 2013): Following the passage of the new constitution of Zimbabwe through a referendum in March 2013, presidential and parliamentary elections were held on July 31, 2013. Five candidates participated in the presidential election, with President Robert MUGABE of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) winning re-election to a seventh term as president of Zimbabwe. MUGABE won re-election with 61.88 percent of the vote, in comparison to the 34.37 percent received by his biggest rival Morgan TSVANGIRAI. In the elections to the House of Assembly, ZANU-PF won 197 seats of the 270 seats in the election, while TSVANGIRAI’s MDC-T won 70 seats. In the Senate elections, ZANU-PF won 37 seats to 21 won by the MDC-T.


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