Peru held elections Sunday for president (first round), congress, and (if anyone cares) Andean Parliament.
The president is elected by two-round majority. The front-running candidate won just over a quarter of the vote: Ollanta Humala, with 27.4%. As is often the case with fragmented first-round fields, the race for the second slot in the runoff was closer than the race between the top two. Keiko Fujimori appears to have made it in with 20.8%, but as just over 82% of returns have been processed, her margin over Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, at 18.1%, is not safe yet.
Former president Alejandro Toledo ran fourth, currently on 13.6%.
Fujimori is, of course, the daughter of the former president, Alberto, who now resides in a jail cell. Kuczynski is a former prime minister who served during part of Toledo’s presidency. (Yes, Peru has a semi-presidential system, of the president-parliamentary subtype, and not a pure presidential system.)
As is typical in Peru, the party system barely deserves the name. The party of the incumbent, Alan Garcia, did not even have a candidate in this process. This party, APRA, has been a major party in Peru since the 1930s, although it has held the presidency only twice, both times with Garcia (elected 1985 and 2006).*
The names of the top five candidates’ parties tell us little about what they stand for: Peru Wins, Force 2011, Alliance for the Great Change, Possible Peru, and the National Solidarity Alliance (my translations). The candidate of Justice, Technology, and Ecology managed only 0.06% and National Awakening slumbered to 0.12%, while Forward remained stuck below 0.1%.
Far less of the congressional vote has been processed at this point. Peru’s unicameral congress is elected by open-list PR, with most districts having magnitudes in the 2-9 range, except for Lima (M=35).
UPDATE: Rici has some corrections on the congressional districting and other useful information in a comment, and boz also addresses the congressional result.
* Its “populist” founder, Victor Haya de la Torre, won a plurality in 1962, with 33% at a time when the rule was that one third of the votes was sufficient for the front-runner to be elected. Otherwise the legislature selected from the top three. A military coup annulled the results of the 1962 election.
The battle for Abidjan “appears to be reaching a climax” between the forces of de-facto president Laurent Gbagbo and the candidate most international actors agree defeated him in the 28 November runoff election, Alassane Ouattara.
It seems as if Ivorian politics has become reduced to just these two men and their followers. It is worth remembering that the first round of the presidential election, on 31 October, was very much a three-way affair.
In that election, Gbago won only 38%, Ouatara 32%, and a third candidate, Henri Konan Bédié, won 25.2%, according to official results. (There were 14 candidates in total, but no other candidate reached even 0.5%.)
Obviously supporters of Bédié split between the two, but went somewhat more for Ouattara. (Reported turnout figures were very similar in the two rounds.)
The polarization of the second round conjures up some of the worst fears of opponents of presidentialism for elections in divided societies. Ivory Coast really is divided three ways, not two, based on the first-round results.
It is not possible (at least for me) to say how things might have been different had there been a parliamentary system. Maybe the fragile political process was doomed to break down in any event. But had the first round instead been a parliamentary election to determine the composition of the government, neither Ouattara nor Gbagbo could not have claimed the mandate of a majority, following a runoff, in this divided society. Some coalition of the parties of two of these three men would have been a possible outcome.
Perhaps it is simply too much to ask, but the media could help readers understand the dynamic of the unfolding French presidential race if only they would throw in a sentence somewhere near the top of the article about how the French president is actually elected.
Typical is the Telegraph story with the headline that Marine Le Pen “would beat Nicolas Sarkozy” and the subtitle that amplifies, “Marine Le Pen, the French National Front’s new leader, stands to beat Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of the presidential election next year.”
Somewhere farther down, it does say that “only the top two candidates can reach the second round.” But by then, the reader who even gets that far could be forgiven for concluding that a Le Pen was practically on the verge of becoming the President of the Republic.
For the record, the recent “shock poll” has the three front-runners–Le Pen, Sarkozy, and possible Socialist candidate Martine Aubry–at either 21% or 23%, and the French president has to win a MAJORITY to be elected.
I do not make a lot of predictions on this blog, but I will go out on a limb here: Marine Le Pen is not going to win the presidential election.
In a post I had missed till now, Reidar Visser makes clear that the Iraqi electoral system used for the general elections earlier this year was indeed open list. The key point is in bold (my emphasis):
It cannot be stressed too much that the Iraqi electoral system is a hybrid of a closed list system and an open-list system. The method for counting the votes was left unspecified in the amended electoral law last autumn, and in its regulation on the subject, the election commission (IHEC) opted for a quite radical approach as far as the weight of open-list (tick an individual on the list) versus closed-list usage (no preference expressed) of the ballot was concerned: The final ordering of the candidates is decided only by the number of personal votes obtained, with no regard to original position on the list. In democratic theory, this could be said to be somewhat problematic, since one might well argue that a list vote with no candidate preferences indicated is not only a vote for the political entity in question, but also for the particular ordering of candidates on the list, as per the preset ranking decided by the leadership. (If the order on the list counted for nothing, the candidates might as well have been listed alphabetically, or according to age, or whatever.) Arguably, then, a more balanced approach to the hybrid of open and closed list would be to count each unmarked ballot as a vote for the top candidate on the list, transferring the vote to the next highest when the first has achieved the number required to win a seat and so on. This is of course all utterly academic as long as IHEC has ruled the way it has, but it does explain why well-organised radical challenges from below are quite easy under the Iraqi system (as seen first and foremost in the case of the Sadrists), and also why minor differences can have an enormous impact when the general number of personal votes is low, not least with respect to the women’s quota (where the struggle is often between candidates with votes in the 3-digit range).
So, just after stressing that the list type is a “hybrid” he goes on to stress that it is in fact an open list. Not hybrid at all.
The point he makes here about implications for “democratic theory” of an open list system in which a vote cast only for the list, without a candidate preference vote, is entirely valid. I have made the same point myself in published work. It is ambiguous, and perhaps unclear to many voters, what the meaning of a list vote without a preference vote is, when applied to the intra-party dimension of representation. Did the voter who abstained from participation in the ranking of candidates really mean to delegate the ranking decision to other voters, who did cast preference votes? Or did such a voter intend to accept the party leadership’s preferred ranking?
Notwithstanding this theoretical ambiguity, there is nothing unusual about this in practice. Open-list systems, in which the preference vote is optional, and in which a list-only vote has no bearing on the order of candidates are found in Brazil, Peru, Switzerland, and formerly in Italy.
Of course, a real hybrid of open and closed lists would be one in which a list vote counted for a pre-established party order, while a preference vote potentially counted for changing that order. These are usually termed “flexible” list systems (or sometimes “semi-open” or “semi-closed”), and are found in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and some other countries.
Other variants also exist: open lists in which the voter must cast a preference vote (Chile, Finland, Poland). There are even flexible lists where the voter must cast a preference vote notwithstanding that a pre-ordered party ranking usually prevails (e.g.Netherlands).
The rest of Visser’s post offers some detail about the extent to which intra-party groups, such as the Sadrists,were successful in elevating their candidates via preference voting. In an earlier post, Visser had detailed “the Sadrist watershed.”
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, former PM, failed in his bid to win the presidency that was vacated by the death of his twin brother, Lech, earlier this year.
The winner of the close contest, Bronislaw Komorowski, is from the party of the current premier, Civic Platform.
Aside from sympathy over the death of his brother, one source of support for Kaczynski was a desire to balance the control of the country’s dual executive structure.* But instead, Poland will now begin a new phase of unified government.
* According to some news coverage I saw over the past week while traveling in Europe, Kaczynski explicitly employed this theme of “balance” in the campaign.
Last week in Germany, everywhere we went in any city we were seldom far from a TV facing the sidewalk and tuned to a World Cup match. So it is a good thing that Wednesday was an idle day in the World Cup, allowing all of Germany to be tuned in to its presidential election.
Or maybe not…
There was no sign of this major event in the life of a democracy, aside from some special news coverage on TV–but not being played in the bars and restaurants. Of course, the reason for the far-from World Cup-like attention is that this was not a popular election. Germany’s president is chosen by a Federal Assembly consisting of the members of the Bundestag and an equal number of delegates from the states.
While there was a good deal of drama for those who were tuned in, the outcome was never in doubt, given the parties’ control over the delegates. That the coalition’s choice would prevail was a given because of the rule that stipulates that if no majority is produced in the first two ballots of the Assembly, a plurality suffices in the third round. However, given the nominal majority held by the Christian Democrat-Liberal governing coalition, that it went to the third ballot means that the government’s own delegates took the opportunity to give the coalition a bit of a bloody nose. In other words, the party control is not absolute, thanks in part to the secret ballot used in the Assembly. In the first two ballots, some members of the coalition’s delegation refused to vote for their candidate, Christian Wulff.
Had the election been by popular vote, the candidate of the Social Democrats and Greens might well have won. Joachim Gauck was a leader of the anti-communist opposition prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. He evidently received some votes, especially in the first round, of Assembly members from within the governing parties’ delegation. He undoubtedly would have received many more votes from actual voters who favored these parties at the last general election if there had been a popular presidential election.
Then again, had the vote been popular, it is unlikely that Wulff would have been the conservative-liberal candidate. A career “insider” with little national profile, he is the sort of candidate parties often nominate to top positions in parliamentary democracies, but who are less likely to be selected when elections for an executive position are direct.
The opposition, on the other hand, essentially treated the contest as a de-facto popular vote. And it might have worked, but it would have required the Left party delegates to withdraw their own candidate. Given that the Left party is made up in part of the remnants of the old Communists against whom Gauk mobilized during the 1980s, that was never a realistic option. By nominating Gauck, however, the SPD and Greens succeeded in sending a strong signal to the nation of how unreconstructed the Left Party is. It would not join a broad left coalition to elect a popular “outsider” against the candidate of an unpopular government, even for the mostly ceremonial post of Germany’s presidency. Presumably, a large chunk of Left voters would have gone for Gauck in a popular runoff. In that sense, the SPD and Greens pulled off a big symbolic victory against their Left rivals even if they lost the election itself.
The whole contest also suggests that the electoral process for Germany’s head of state perhaps now has failed to maintain the delicate balance for which it was designed: being neither a simple ratification of the sitting government’s candidate nor an open popularity contest. This is a theme that I see some members of the F&V community have already begun discussing at an earlier thread.
Juan Manuel Santos was elected president of Colombia in Sunday’s runoff. No surprise there. Given how close he was to 50% in the first round, the runoff was effectively superfluous.
The turnout was down compared to the first round, as we might have expected, given the foregone conclusion. In fact, the surprise is that it was down so little: from about 14.75 million on the first round to about 13.3 million in the runoff. (See the first-round and second-round data that Steven Taylor posted.)
The second-place candidate, Antanas Mockus, barely increased his votes, from 3.116 million to 3.588 million (21.5% to 27.5%).
While this is ultimately a disappointment for Mockus and his supporters, given polls before the first round that suggested he could win, if you had told me years ago that one day the flamboyant mayor of Bogota would win over a quarter of the votes in a presidential election, I would have thought it impossible.
The chances that Colombia would become the first country to elect a Green chief executive–as numerous polls had said was likely–dimmed dramatically after the outcome of Sunday’s first round.
Juan Manuel Santos of the party most closely affiliated with outgoing incumbent President Alvaro Uribe, came close to an outright win. He scored 46.6%, to a distant 21.5% for Green candidate Antanas Mockus.
Polls in recent weeks had tended to put the two candidates close, in the mid thirties percent range, and generally had Mockus winning the runoff, which will be on 20 June.
However, with that large a lead, there is only the slimmest of chances that Mockus could ultimately win.
I always expected Santos’s support within the “political class,” and the ability of rural leaders to mobilize votes for the more establishment candidate, would pull Santos through. But I had no expectation that he would be so close to 50% in the first round, or so far ahead of Mockus.
In presidential systems, the rare “counterhoneymoon” electoral cycle–legislative elections shortly before presidential–can have the effect of revealing the strengths of various parties and their prospective presidential candidates before the final phase of the presidential campaign itself. I have long thought that a counterhoneymoon cycle was normatively desirable, especially for multiparty systems, and have been surprised at how rare it is.
The effect is on display now in Colombia. For many months leading up to the 14 March, 2010, legislative elections and 30 May presidential first round, Sergio Fajardo, former mayor of Medellin, was doing well in the opinion polls that asked about hypothetical match-ups without incumbent Alvaro Uribe. (Uribe was recently denied a chance to run for a third term by a court ruling.)
However, the outcome of the legislative elections has changed the dynamic. As noted in El Tiempo:
Aunque llegó a liderar las encuestas sobre intención de voto para Presidente de la República, hace apenas tres meses, Fajardo se desplomó tras su fracaso en las elecciones legislativas, pues ni siquiera uno de los suyos llegó al Capitolio.
[my rough translation:] Although he was leading the polls of voting intention for president only three months ago, Fajardo fell flat after his failure in the legislative elections, when not even one of his candidates made it to the Capitol.
Fajardo has fallen so far that now he is in talks with the nominee of the new Green Party, former Bogota mayor Antanas Mockus, about preparing a unity ticket for the presidential elections. (This is the main theme of the above-referenced article, and also the theme of Steven’s earlier planting.) If in coalition with other non-uribista forces, Mockus might even have a chance at finishing second in the first round of the presidential election, behind the successor to Uribe in the “La U” party, former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos.
Mockus decisively defeated two other former mayors of Bogota in a presidential primary held concurrent with the legislative elections. The other main presidential candidate is that of the Conservative Party, Noemi Sanin, who narrowly edged out a more pro-Uribe contender, Andrés Felipe Arias, in that party’s primary.
While there is believed to be no chance that Fajardo would become Mockus’s running mate, there is speculation that Fajardo’s already-registered running mate, Julio Londoño, could now run with Mockus instead.
What is the broader significance of all this? I often write about “presidentialized parties,” by which I mean parties that become dependent on their leaders who run for president. In fact, I have co-written a book about such parties, and their fundamental difference from “parliamentarized parties,” in which the agency relationship running from parties to their executive candidates is more readily maintained, even after an election results in the candidate becoming the national executive (precisely the moment in which the agency relationship most breaks down, or even reverses, in presidential systems).
Few parties are more “presidentalized,” at least prior to their actually having elected a president, than are parties that are formed for the sole purpose of being some leader’s campaign vehicle. Compromiso Ciudadano por Colombia, formed by Fajardo, for example. (Fajardo is registered as an independent, but that is a mere technicality for present purposes.)
Yet the counterhoneymoon electoral cycle has the effect of requiring such a party’s first test to be a legislative election, rather than the presidential contest. Fajardo’s party failed that test badly, and now he is in negotiations with the leader of a party that actually performed respectably in the legislative elections, notwithstanding that it, too, was just formed in time for these 2010 elections. (The Greens won 5 of the 100 Senate seats, for example.)
This past Sunday, Colombians voted for national legislators and in presidential primaries for those parties that opted to have a primary.
The primary in the Conservative Party is extremely close–and, yes, they do call it in Colombia a “voto finish”–with counting only partially complete. The result may not be known for days. As of Monday morning–the latest update as of now–there are only 404 votes (out of over 1.3 million so far) separating the two leading candidates. Noemi Sanin “leads” Andrés Felipe Arias. There are three other candidates in the race, and the nominee will be decided by plurality. The current standings of the candidates are Sanin 42.45%, Arias 42.42% (the next highest vote share is 8.6%).
More rules: it is an open primary; any voter may request a primary ballot and given that it is concurrent with the legislative election and that not all parties have primaries for presidential candidate, there may be quite a lot of other party voters participating.
Predictably, there is already speculation that the close contest could split the party. Given that the party, one of Latin America’s oldest, has split before (it was fragmented throughout the 1990s and only really got its act back together in the last election, 2006), this is not a threat to be taken lightly. Moreover, Sanin and Arias have rather different orientations. Sanin, running then under a different banner, competed against President Alvaro Uribe in 2002, whereas Arias is sometimes seen as even more “uribista” than the nominee of the party most closely associated with Uribe himelf, Juan Manuel Santos. (That party is known as “La U” to remind everyone of its fealty to President U himself.)
The other party to hold a presidential primary Sunday is the new Partido Verde, which had an interesting and entertaining contest among “The Three Tenors.” The Tenor most “alto” in votes was Antanas Mockus, with 52% (in preliminary results). Enrique Peñalosa, like Mockus a former mayor of Bogota, came in second with about 31%. Running third was Lucho Garzon with about 17%. (Garzon was a presidential candidate in 2002 as well as a one-time–you guessed it–mayor of the capital.)
I’ll analyze the legislative elections once the results are more complete. The big picture is clear, however: the various parties that were in Uribe’s coalition generally did well again, though perhaps not as well collectively as they did in 2006 (when Uribe won his second term). It appears that La U will have 27 Senate seats (out of 100, elected nationwide), which is a few less than in 2006, and the Conservatives will have about 22 or 23 (not much different from 2006).
This election represented the second use of the D’Hondt list-PR electoral system that replaced the former de-facto SNTV. (If you go down through the “Colombia” block to March, 2006, this is explained.)
Full coverage at El Tiempo. See also Steven’s posting (Steven is there, and has been posting interesting photos and notes about the election for the past week).
The Constitutional Court of Colombia has blocked the planned referendum that would have opened the path to President Alvaro Uribe running for a third term.
This is a major benchmark (so to speak) in the maturity and institutionalization of Colombian democracy. I had long thought the third term ultimately would not happen, but my confidence in that expectation had been badly shaken as the process came this close to permitting the referendum.
The new president will be elected in May (or June, if a runoff is needed). Congress is elected in March, and there will be campaigns for various parties’ presidential candidacies, some of which will be decided in primaries concurrent with the legislative elections.
Much more at PoliBlog (Steven is leaving for some field research in Colombia rather soon; great timing, Steven!).
Votes are now being counted in Sri Lanka’s presidential election. Various news reports have indicated that citizens from the Tamil minority are expected to side mostly with opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka against incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa. Unlike in past, war-time, elections, Tamils appear to have turned out in large numbers.
This contest is classic presidentialization in action, but it seems somewhat less classic as an example of the “instant runoff” rules that are used.
Presidentialization is manifest in the main opposition party, the United People’s Freedom Party (UNP), having endorsed as its presidential candidate a person with no links to the party whatsoever. In fact, Fonseka was the head of the army, and thus an agent of President Rajapaksa, as the Sri Lankan state crushed the Tamil Tigers (TTLE) guerrilla forces last year. The Independent describes the dilemma faced by the UNP and others seeking the defeat of Rajapaksa:
The former army chief was quickly recruited by an unlikely coalition, made up of the UNP, Muslims, Tamils and some strident nationalists who believed that in the martial, militaristic atmosphere following the crushing of the LTTE, Mr Fonseka with his chest full of medals represented their only chance of defeating the president. “You have to make the best of what there is,” admitted a senior UNP leader, Ravi Karunanayake
If Fonseka wins, what loyalty can the UNP count on? He is an army man, who launched his candidacy outside the party organization, and then was endorsed by the UNP. The UNP surely needs him far more than the reverse. Classic presidentialization.
Not so classic is the way Sri Lanka’s version of “instant runoff” for presidential elections is working in this campaign. Although there are twenty-two candidates, and voters may give a second-preference ranking as well as a first, the contest is very much a two-man race. Most strikingly, the Tamil minority does not have its own candidate, but rather is being courted by the two leading candidates. That seems much more like a plurality dynamic than an instant-runoff dynamic.
It must be noted that the electoral rule in Sri Lanka is not the alternative vote (i.e. STV with one being elected), in which the lowest-ranking candidates are sequentially eliminated until transferred preferences push one of the remaining candidates over the majority threshold. Rather, in Sri Lanka, if no candidate has a majority of first preferences, all but the top two are eliminated, and their ballots are examined for lower-ranked preferences among the remaining two. This is a more literal definition of “instant runoff” but not (I hope) what US-based IRV advocates mean to see adopted. (What to call this variant that Sri Lanka uses is not entirely clear; see Bob Richard’s comment.)
I am curious to know how IRV advocates would explain the absence of a significant Tamil candidate (or candidates of the Muslim and other minorities) in an IRV contest, but rather a plurality-like contest in which minority voters choose the “lesser evil” among the majority’s two candidates. Is it because of the war (too dangerous for a Tamil to come forward, too politically volatile for a Sinhala candidate to appeal for second preferences)? Is it because the rules in use are not the alternative vote? Or what?
(Rajapaksa was elected in 2005 by majority of first-preference votes as candidate of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance.)
In any case, this campaign does not match the “IRV” dynamic, but it most certainly does match the “presidentialization” dynamic.
Does anyone know of a worse showing for a president seeking reelection than Viktor Yushchenko’s 6%, according to exit polls from today’s election? I can’t even think of another incumbent who failed to make the top two.
Speaking of top two, those would be (as expected) Viktor Yanukovych and Yuliya Tymoshenko. They finished at 32% and 27%, respectively (and again, according to exit polls), and will face off in the runoff.
I suppose it would be far too much to ask of journalists and headline writers to refrain from saying that any candidate “wins” the first round of an election that must go to a runoff, wouldn’t it? It seems to me that if anyone wins the first round of a top-2 runoff it would be, well the top two. Unlike all the other candidates (sixteen of them in Ukraine), those two get to go on and see who ultimately will win.
This Sunday, 17 January, voters in Chile and Ukraine will vote in presidential elections. In Ukraine the vote will be the first round of a near-certain two-round contest, while in Chile it is a top-two runoff.
This will be Ukraine’s first presidential election since the Orange Revolution of late 2004, and the man whose name was chanted for days and nights by the crowds in the central square of Kyiv, Viktor Yushchenko, is expected to place no higher than third and thus be eliminated. I wonder how often an incumbent president fails to place in the top two–not very often, I presume. The runoff would thus pit Yuliya Tymoshenko against Viktor Yanukovych–the same two who have taken turns in the prime minister’s chair since the Orange Revolution. Given the voting patterns that have characterized Ukraine’s legislativeelections during Yushchenko’s term, one hardly needs to consult the polls to predict that Yanukovych will “win” the first round (leading to predictable hand-wringing about Ukraine returning to Russia’s orbit), but Tymoshenko will win the decisive second round.
In Chile, most of the polls and punditry say that this is the year that the right, behind the candidacy of Sebastian Pinera, wins executive power through an election for the first time since 1958. I would not write off the Concertacaion (center-left) candidate, Eduardo Frei, just yet, however. A poll this week puts Pinera up only 50.9-49.1. Needless to say, that’s too close to call. Pinera led 44.1 to 29.6, with 20.1 for independent-left candidate Marco Enríquez-Ominami Gumucio (ME-O), in the first round. So the big factor is how many ME-O voters get over their unhappiness with ex-president Frei of the Christian Democratic Party being the center-left candidate and return to the Concertacion fold for the runoff. In the legislative elections held concurrent with the first round, the two main blocs were very close (44.4 for the Concertacion and 43.4 for the Coalicion por el Cambio for the Chamber of Deputies). Obviously, many ME-O voters kept to the old habit of voting Concertacion for the legislative race. Will they do so in the presidential runoff? (First round discussion at F&V.)
Reversing the (well within margin of error) exit polls, the official results show that Romanian President Traian Basescu has been reelected. The Social Democratic Party says it will contest the outcome before the Constitutional Court, alleging rigging.
The Central Electoral Bureau reports the result as 50.33% Bsescu to 49.66% Mircea Geoana. That’s close!
If by my laws you walk, and my commands you keep, and observe them,
then I will give-forth your rains in their set-time,
so that the earth gives-forth its yield
and the trees of the field give-forth their fruit.
--Vayikra 26: 3-4