Monthly Archives: April 2009

Andorra 2009: Results

Here are the result of yesterday’s election in Andorra, which I discussed yesterday.

The PR vote is as follows:

Social Democratic Party (PS) and Independents 45.03% (+6.96%) winning 6 PR seats, 8 Parochial seats for a total of 14 seats (+3)
Reformist Coalition (Liberal + Democratic Centre + 21st Century) 32.34% (-19.86%) winning 5 PR seats, 8 Parochial seats for a total of 11 seats (-5)
Andorra for Change (APC) 18.86% (+12.62%) winning 3 PR seats for a total of 3 seats (+2)
Andorran Greens 3.17% (-0.33%%)
National Union for Progress 0.69% (new)

turnout: 75.30% (-5.1%)

Result of the PR vote by parish:

Canillo: Liberal 50.3%, PS 33.8%, APC 12.2%, Greenies 3.1%. UNP 0.5%
Encamp: PS 43.3%, APC 31.8%, Liberal 20.6%, Greenies 3.6%, UNP 0.7%
Ordino: PS 40.6%, Liberal 34.9%, APC 22%, Greenies 2%, UNP 0.5%
La Massana: Liberal 44.6%, PS 40.5%, APC 12.1%, Greenies 2.3%, UNP 0.5%
Andorra la Vella: PS 53.9%, Liberal 25.5%, APC 16%, Greenies 3.8%, UNP 0.8%
Sant Julià de Lòria: Liberal 44.9%, PS 36%, APC 15.9%, Greenies 2.8%, UNP 0.4%
Escaldes-Engordany: PS 46.3%, Liberal 30.1%, APC 19.9%, Greenies 3.2%, UNP 0.5%

And now the results of the parochial vote.

Canillo: Liberals 58%, PS 42%. Result: 2 Liberals (nc)
Encamp: PS 41%, APC 36%, Liberal 18%, Greenies 5%. Result: 2 PS (nc)
Ordino: PS 41%, Independents (PLA) 37%, APC 22%. Result: 2 PS (+2)
La Massana: Liberals 54%, PS 46%. Result: 2 Liberals (nc)
Andorra la Vella: PS 54%, Liberals 27%, APC 14%, Greenies 5%. Result: 2 PS (nc)
Sant Julià de Lòria: Liberals 51%, PS 35%, APC 14%. Result: 2 Liberals (nc)
Escaldes-Engordany: PS 42%, Liberals 31%, APC 22%, Greenies 5%. Result: 2 PS (nc)

This is a historic result for the Socialists and the Andorran left. It is the first time the left wins in Andorra, and by such a margin it is especially historic. I’m not sure about the parliamentary proceedings, but I assume Jaume Bartumeu, the leader of the PS, will become Prime Minister.

South Africa 2009, an analysis

I posted a short analysis of the results when 11 million votes had been counted. With official results out and seats officially allocated, here is a revised and clearer prediction.

The ANC, of course, dominates, though its stranglehold on power may be loosening. As I said yesterday, if it wasn’t for the Zulus and Zuma, the ANC would have had a very cold shower. The ANC took a big hit in Western Cape, where it probably won a large share of the Coloured and maybe even white (not a whole lot though) vote in 2004. With Zuma, coloured voters seem to have flocked to the DA, giving the DA a result similar to the National Party’s result in WC in 1994. The symbolic loss of the two-thirds majority is also noteworthy.

With 16.7%, the Democratic Alliance has probably reached the maximum it can expect under its present quasi-exclusively white/coloured base. However, 16.7% remains a good result for the official opposition, which faced some tough competition for that role from the Congress of the People. They have made gains almost nationwide, though they lost ground, statistical noise, in one province where they’re very weak anyways. Its result in Western Cape is excellent news for the party, which has managed a quite important feat. However, its map shows a very marked racial divide (whites+coloureds, quasi-exclusively, for the DA), probably even more marked with their huge gains in Western Cape and only small gains in the other provinces. In fact, the DA’s vote in Gauteng Province (21.3%) is statistically quasi-identical to the white population (20%). If the DA wants to expand, they need to expand their base to appeal to blacks.

This is a deceiving result for the COPE. However, it’s not really that surprising. COPE represents something the voters aren’t too fond of and they lack a strong solid base like the ANC has with blacks and the DA has with whites and coloured. They seem stronger in the Cape area, or in the coloured areas. It is undeniable that COPE hasn’t broken through in the black community. For one, it represents something that isn’t widely popular and it’s leadership is far from the populist Zuma whom the black crowds love. Second, Apartheid remains too close and black rights not firmly established yet to let blacks from considering a party other than Mandela’s party and the historic anti-apartheid party. However, with the DA maintaining a narrow base, COPE has the most room to grow, especially if it co-operates decently with the DA.

Opposition parties haven’t really had the chance to prove themselves in power. The only opposition parties that held power at a provincial level since 1994 had much too narrow bases for them to become parties a lot of blacks could vote for in the end: the Afrikaner apartheid National Party (NP) in the Cape and the quasi-exclusively Zulu IFP in KZN. Now that the Democratic Alliance will lead government in Western Cape, probably in coalition with COPE and the Independent Democrats, the opposition that has a realistic chance to expand its electoral base will be able to prove themselves as an alternative to the ANC.

Minor parties had a very rough time. The UDM and the Independent Democrats, anti-corruption parties, suffered a lot from COPE adorning the mantle of good government (ironically enough). All other smaller parties, including VF+, be it the Christian right (ACDP, UCDP) or the various Pan-Africanists have all suffered loses in terms of votes. In 2004, seven parties broke 1% and 10 broke 0.5% (including the Nationals, which are now dead). Today, four break 1% and eight break 0.5%. There appears to be the makings of a consolidation of opposition votes into two parties (DA and COPE) and less and less into a thousand of small fringe parties.

Map is upcoming.

Andorra 2009

The tiny landlocked Principality of Andorra squished in between Spain and France votes today, the fifth elections since Andorra adopted a Constitution and ceased to be a feudal (yes, feudal) principality in 1992. It is still co-ruled by the Bishop of Urgell in Spain and the President of France, though their powers are limited to veto powers over matters affecting Spanish and French interests respectively. Andorra is the only country with Catalan as the official language. However, only 33% of Andorrans are actually ethnic Andorrans. There has been a large number of immigrants from Spain (Catalonia and Galicia especially) but also Portugal and France (mostly North Africans)  who have come to live and work in Andorra.

Andorra is a tax haven, and it’s tax haven status has come under fire after the G-20 summit, especially from Co-Prince (lol) Nicolas Sarkozy, who is all over this fiscal paradise stuff. The current Liberal (PLA) Premier, Albert Pintat, has said that he is committed to providing more information about non-citizens holding bank accounts in Andorra. He is negotiating tax treaties which would give Andorra, in return for fiscal transparency on its part, a removal of the Spanish and French duties on Andorran exports. The PLA is a traditional neoliberal party, and opposes taxation. The opposition Social Democrats (PS) have said that they favour the introduction of low income and value-added taxes as opposed to the current indirect taxation (levied on water, telecommunications and so forth). Another issue is Andorra’s relationship with the EEA. Andorra currently has a loose (economic, social, and cultural) bilateral agreement with the EU. The PS supports a full association agreement with the EEA, but the PLA is more reticent.

Andorra’s General Council of the Valleys has 28 councillors. Of these, half (14) are elected in a nationwide constituency using largest remainders method of PR. Each of Andorra’s seven parishes send two councillors to the General Council. The list winning the most votes in a parish wins both seats.

I outlined the two major parties above, the PLA and PS. The PLA is a neoliberal party, and the PSD is a typical PES party opposed to neoliberalism. Other parties include the Andorra for Change coalition, which includes the Democratic Renewal Party (a PS ally locally in 2005). Andorra for Change rejects any changes to the tax system. The Andorran Greens won 3.5% in 2005 but failed to win a seat.

As of now, 53% of the votes have been counted. For the 14 PR seats, the distribution of votes is as follows:

Social Democratic Party (PS) and Independents 44.87% (+6.8%) [6 PR seats in 2005]
Reformist Coalition (Liberals and local allies) 32.10% (-9.11%) [6 PR seats in 2005]
Andorra for Change 18.82% (+12.58%)
Andorran Greens 3.53% (+0.03%)
National Union for Progress 0.69% (new)

The Andorran Democratic Centre-21st Century alliance won 2 PR seats (10.99%) in 2004, but don’t seem to be running this time.

As for the parishes, here are the results. And here is a map.

Canillo (100%): Liberals 58%, PS 42%. Projection: 2 Liberals (nc)
Encamp (47%): PS 40%, Change 37%, Liberal 17%, Greenies 5%. Projection: 2 PS (nc)
Ordino (48%): PS 40%, Independents (PLA) 35%, Change 24%. Projection: TCTC (2 PLA in 2005)
La Massana (30%): Liberals 57%, PS 43%. Projection: 2 Liberals (nc)
Andorra la Vella (69%): PS 54%, Liberals 26%, Change 14%, Greenies 5%. Projection: 2 PS (nc)
Sant Julià de Lòria (68%): Liberals 58%, PS 35%, Change 13%. Projection: 2 Liberals (nc)
Escaldes-Engordany (62%): PS 42%, Liberals 31%, Change 22%, Greenies 5%. Projection: 2 PS (nc)

Ordino will decide the election outcome. It’s the swing parish! If the PS wins Ordino, it has 8 seats against 6 Liberals. In the PR vote, they’ll probably get 6 seats, against 4/5 Liberals, 3 Change, and potentially one Greenie. So, my calculations give around 14 seats for the Socialists, 10 or 11 Liberals, 3 Change, and maybe one Greenie (giving 10 Liberals in that case).

Iceland 2009

Iceland, one of the countries worst hit by the financial crisis, but also home to one of the oldest Parliaments in the world (the Alþingi), held an early election yesterday. In 2007, the centre-right Independence Party (I) won, but its coalition with the agrarian liberal Progressive Party fell apart to the Progressive’s historically low result. As a result, a coalition was formed with the left-wing Socialist Democratic Alliance (SDA). When Iceland found itself in quasi-bankruptcy early this year, Prime Minister Geir Haarde (I) resigned and a new interim left-wing government was formed with Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (SDA) as Prime Minister.

The main issue these days in Iceland is joining the European Union (EU) and the Eurozone. Sigurðardóttir has made it clear that EU/Eurozone membership will be her top priority. Iceland is currently not a member of the EU due to fear that it would hurt its fishing. Fishing quotas remain an important issue in Icelandic politics.

The Independence Party, formed when Iceland was a part of Denmark (hence the name), has won a plurality of the vote since Icelandic independence in 1944. The party supports Iceland’s NATO membership but opposes EU membership. Its traditional coalition partner has been the rural centre-liberal Progressive Party, a traditional Scandinavian “centre” party (meaning agrarian). The Progressives, like many of these Scandinavian centre parties, have been becoming more and more urbanized and liberal as opposed to rural geezers. In fact, they just changed their EU policy to support EU membership. The Social Democratic Alliance was formed in 1999 by a merger of the social democratic Social Democrats, the democratic socialist post-communist People’s Alliance, the Women’s Alliance, and the left-populist National Movement. Despite the SDA’s attempt to unite the left against the Independence Party, this attempt failed since left-wing elements in the People’s Alliance founded the Left-Green Movement, a “green socialist” party similar to other Nordic green-left parties. The Left-Greens are opposed to EU membership (and NATO membership), even though they are currently in the interim coalition with the pro-EU SDA. The Liberal Party had seats in the last Parliament. Founded in 1998, the Liberals are actually a markedly right-wing party opposed to immigration, fishing quotas (a big issue), and EU membership (another big issue). It does, however, support Icelandic membership in NATO. The party recently split, with one MP joining the Independence Party and another MP joining the Progressives. There is also a new party, the Citizens’ Movement, which was formed at the height of the economic crisis. It seems to be in the populist protest party mold, demanding “democratic reforms”. Anyways, the results.

Social Democratic Alliance 29.8% (+3%) winning 20 seats (+2)
Independence Party 23.7% (-12.9%) winning 16 seats (-9)
Left-Green Movement 21.7% (+7.4%) winning 14 seats (+5)
Progressive Party 14.8% (+3.1%) winning 9 seats (+2)
Citizens’ Movement 7.2% (+7.2%) winning 4 seats (+4)
Liberal Party 2.2% (-5.1%) winning 0 seats (-4)
Democracy Movement 0.6% (+0.6%) winning 0 seats (nc)

The Independence Party, held as responsible for the financial crisis in Iceland, has been severly punished at the polls, giving it its worst result since 1946 and its first second-place finish. Results also show that fishing stuff seem to be the least of Icelandic concerns: the Liberals, who made quotas their big issue, were shut out of Parliament. Maybe it has something to do with Liberal divisions, though probably not entirely. However, it isn’t as bad as pollsters predicted: most saw the LeftGreenies in second with around 25-26%. It is very likely that the current interim SDA-LeftGreenies government (34 seats, 2 more than a majority) will form a government. They also won’t need to rely on Progressive outside support anymore. However, it will be interesting to see what gets done about EU membership: the SDA and Progressives (29 votes) support it, while Independence and Left-Greenies oppose it (30 votes). I don’t know how the Citizen thingee is on this issue.

South Africa 2009: Preliminary

It seems that South Africa has finished counting and preliminary final results seem to be out. Turnout is 76%, roughly equal to 2004 but lower than in 1999 or 1994.

ANC 65.90% (-3.79%)
DA 16.66% (+4.29%)
COPE 7.42% (+7.42%)
IFP 4.55% (-2.42%)
Independent Democrats 0.92% (-0.78%)
UDM 0.85% (-1.43%)
Freedom Front+ 0.83% (-0.06%)
ACDP 0.81% (-0.79%)
UCDP 0.37% (-0.38%)
Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) 0.27% (-0.46%)
Minority Front (MF) 0.25% (-0.10%)
Azanian People’s Organization (AZAPO) 0.22% (-0.03%)
African People’s Congress (APC) 0.20% (+0.20%)

And here is a revised (and improved) seat allocation prediction:

ANC 264 (-15)
DA 67 (+17)
COPE 30 (+30)
IFP 18 (-10)
ID 4 (-3)
UDM 4 (-5)
VF+ 4 (±0)
ACDP 3 (-4)
UCDP 2 (-1)
PAC 1 (-2)
MF 1 (-1)
AZAPO 1 (±0)
APC 1 (+1)
National 0 (-7)

Graph of Seat Estimate

Map of South African Provinces

National results by province (parties over 1% only)

W Cape: DA 48.78 (+21.86), ANC 32.86 (-13.42), COPE 9.06 (+9.06), ID 4.49 (-3.48), ACDP 1.62 (-2.16)
N Cape: ANC 61.10 (-7.65), COPE 15.94 (+15.94), DA 13.08 (+1.47), ID 4.72 (-1.89), VF+ 1.20 (-0.29), UCDP 1.10 (+0.79)
E Cape: ANC 69.70 (-9.61), COPE 13.31 (+13.31), DA 9.97 (+2.72), UDM 3.95 (-4.96)
KwaZulu-Natal: ANC 63.97 (+16.5), IFP 20.52 (-14.35), DA 10.33 (+0.33), COPE 1.55 (+1.55), MF 1.10 (-0.76)
Free State: ANC 71.90 (-10.15), DA 12.10 (+3.23), COPE 11.11 (+11.11), VF+ 1.61 (-0.46)
Northwest: ANC 73.84 (-7.99), DA 8.70 (+3.23), COPE 8.43 (+8.43), UCDP 3.94 (-2.59), VF+ 1.44 (+0.3)
Gauteng: ANC 64.76 (-3.98), DA 21.27 (+0.94), COPE 7.78 (+7.78), IFP 1.48 (-1.16), VF+ 1.38 (+0.18)
Mpumalanga: ANC 85.81 (-0.53), DA 7.60 (+0.43), COPE 2.89 (+2.89)
Limpopo: ANC 85.27 (-4.45), COPE 7.21 (+7.21), DA 3.71 (-0.10)

Results in the largest cities, according to the 2001 census.

Johannesburg (GA): ANC 63.15, DA 20.84, COPE 9.49, IFP 2.33
Durban (KZN): ANC 67.52, DA 18.04, IFP 6.81, COPE 2.57, MF 2.5
Cape Town (WC): DA 50.92, ANC 32.76, COPE 8.69, ID 2.76, ACDP 1.74
East Rand (GA): ANC 67.52, DA 20.45, COPE 6.22, IFP 1.86
Pretoria (GA): ANC 61.07, DA 24.90, COPE 7.75, VF+ 2.9, ACDP 1.11
Port Elizabeth (EC): ANC 50.14, DA 28.17, COPE 17.02, ID 1.43
East London (EC): ANC 67.67, COPE 16.54, DA 11.28, ACDP 1.11, UDM 1.01
Vereeniging (GA): ANC 75.07, DA 13.58, COPE 7.22
Bloemfontein (FS): ANC 64.72, DA 16.61, COPE 13.34, VF+ 2.00
Thohoyandou (Limpopo): ANC 88.99, COPE 7.10, DA 1.04

The ANC gains in KwaZulu-Natal do not show a clear picture nationally, though even there the ANC loses ground. Outside of KZN, the ANC lost around 7.2% of its 2004 vote. If the estimate for seats holds, the ANC will have lost its two-thirds majority by a whisker, with only two seats less than the two-thirds majority, which allows the ANC to amend the Constitution freely.

The results in provincial legislatures have been generally similar to the national results. In Western Cape, the DA has ended up over 50% (51.46%) unlike in the national election, giving it a majority in the legislature. Though the DA will probably form the opposition coalition I mentioned in my last post with COPE, Independent Democrats, and maybe the Christian right and VF+. In all other provinces, the ANC has over 60% of the seats and there will be no changes there, unsurprisingly. ANC (obviously), DA and COPE are represented in all parliaments (COPE barely got in in KZN), while the other parties with seats in legislatures are pratically regional parties.

Updated with new seat numbers (ANC -1, DA +1)

South Africa 2009: After 11 million votes

In the South African elections held yesterday, around 11 million votes have been counted out of roughly 23 million registered voters. These results are likely to look similar to the final results, which will probably be finalized by Saturday. Turnout is reported to be at a high, maybe all-time high. It’s too early to give the real turnout percentage, but I’ve seen the number 77% being floated around.

The current results, obtained from the Election Commish look like this, with change on 2004.

ANC 66.51% (-3.18%)
DA 16.36% (+3.99%)
COPE 7.66% (+7.66%)
IFP 3.78% (-3.19%)
UDM 1.02% (-1.26%)
Independent Democrats 0.98% (-0.72%)
Freedom Front+ 0.95% (+0.06%)
ACDP 0.77% (-0.83%)
UCDP 0.40% (-0.35%)
Pan-Africanist Congress 0.28% (-0.45%)
Azanian People’s Organization 0.22% (-0.03%)
Movement Democratic Party 0.18% (+0.18%)
Minority Front 0.13% (-0.22%)

I’m not sure how seats end up being allocated, but I think they do it nationally with no threshold. So, applying the above figures, you get this projected makeup:

ANC 272 (-7)
DA 66 (+16)
COPE 31 (+31)
IFP 15 (-13)
UDM 4 (-5)
Independent Democrats 4 (-3)
Freedom Front+ 3 (-1)
ACDP 3 (-4)
UCDP 1 (-2)
Pan-Africanist Congress 1 (-2)
Azanian People’s Organization 0 (-1)
Minority Front 0 (-2)

This is a good result for the ANC and their loses prove only minimal: though this is mostly due to the ANC’s large gains in KwaZulu-Natal, the Zulu heartland where Zuma’s Zulu ancestry played well. In all other provinces, the ANC is losing ground, either very little (Mpumalanga) to a whole lot (Western Cape). The ANC will probably keep its tw0-thirds majority, which gives them the chance to amend the Constitution without the need for external support.

With 16.4%, the Democratic Alliance has probably reached the maximum it can expect under its present quasi-exclusively white/coloured base. However, 16.4% remains a good result for the opposition, which faced some tough competition for that role from the Congress of the People. They have made gains almost nationwide, though they lost ground, statistical noise, in a few provinces where they’re rather weak anyways. However, in its Western Cape base, it has increased its share by around 19% and hovers slightly below the 50% mark in the national tally. In Gauteng Province (Joburg), it has polled around 25%.

This is a deceiving result for the COPE if they followed polls at all. However, it’s not really that surprising. COPE represents something the voters aren’t too fond of (aloof politicians, for starters) and they lack a strong solid base like the ANC has with blacks and the DA has with whites and coloured. A quick glance at their provincial results show that they seem stronger in the Cape area, or in the coloured areas. We’ll need a further breakdown of data to see if this theory proves true, since it’s hard to say as they don’t break 20% anywhere. However, it is undeniable that COPE hasn’t broken through in the black community. For one, it represents something that isn’t widely popular and it’s leadership is far from the populist Zuma whom crowds love. Second, Apartheid remains too close and black rights not firmly established yet to let blacks from considering a party other than Mandela’s party and the historic anti-apartheid party. Also, opposition parties haven’t really had the chance to prove themselves in power. The only opposition parties that held power at a provincial level since 1994 had much too narrow bases for them to become parties a lot of blacks could vote for in the end: the Afrikaner apartheid National Party (NP) in the Cape and the quasi-exclusively Zulu IFP in KZN. Now that the Democratic Alliance will lead government in Western Cape, probably in coalition with COPE and the Independent Democrats, the opposition that has a realistic chance to expand its electoral base will be able to prove themselves as an alternative to the ANC.

Minor parties had a very rough time last night. The UDM and the Independent Democrats, anti-corruption parties, suffered a lot from COPE adorning the mantle of good government (ironically enough). All other smaller parties, except for the VF+, be it the Christian right (ACDP, UCDP) or the various Pan-Africanists have all suffered loses. Only the VF+ seems to have gained, though even that proves very minimal. It doesn’t seem as if the VF+ ended up attracting a lot of the National Party voters.

Map of South African Provinces

Current national results by province:

W Cape: DA 49.3, ANC 31.7, COPE 9.0, ID 5.4, ACDP 1.6, VF+ 1.2
N Cape: ANC 60.9, COPE 16.3, DA 12.3, ID 5.3, VF+ 1.4
E Cape: ANC 69.5, COPE 13.2, DA 10.3, UDM 3.9
KwaZulu-Natal: ANC 65.4, IFP 22.1, DA 8.2, COPE 1.3
Free State: ANC 71.3, DA 13.1, COPE 10.7, VF+ 1.9
Northwest: ANC 74.4, COPE 8.4, DA 8.3, UCDP 3.7, VF+ 1.4
Gauteng: ANC 60.7, DA 25.7, COPE 7.4, VF+ 1.7, IFP 1.1
Mpumalanga: ANC 85.4, DA 8.0, COPE 2.8
Limpopo: ANC 85.2, COPE 6.9, DA 4.1

I have mentioned provincial elections in a few places, including above. As I said, the Democratic Alliance has won control of Western Cape province (which includes Cape Town, a city which it governs since 2006). While it seems to be slightly below 50% in the national vote, it seems as if the DA has won over 50% of the vote in the provincial election, probably giving the DA an absolute majority. It will probably govern at the head of a large coalition with COPE (7.8%) and the Independent Democrats (5.6%). This could even include the ACDP (1.4%), the UDM (0.7%), and VF+ (0.5%); all of which are part of the ruling coalition in Cape Town. In other provinces, the ANC has kept its absolute majority and gained an absolute majority in KwaZulu-Natal, where it seems to have polled around 62.8% (47% in 2004). The IFP has polled only 23.4% (36.8%),  the party’s lowest point since it won about 50% in 1994. In terms of opposition parties in the provincial legislature, COPE seems to be the official opposition in Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Limpopo. In the North West, the margin between the DA and COPE (8.3%) is very small as of now, though the DA is second for the moment.

Election Preview: South Africa 2009

South Africa will vote in the fifth election since the end of Apartheid on Wednesday, April 22. South Africa’s lower house, the National Assembly, has 400 seats, elected by no-threshold proportional representation. Since the end of Apartheid and the first multi-racial elections in 1994, South Africa, which is now 80% black, is ruled by the African National Congress (ANC), a broad left-wing anti-Apartheid black (Bantu) party that includes, among others, Nelson Mandela. Mandela stepped down in 1999, and his dauphin, Thabo Mbeki won the 1999 and 2004 elections with the usual landslides. In 2007, Mbeki, also ANC leader, was defeated by his rival and left-wing populist Jacob Zuma, a Zulu. Mbeki stepped down as President in 2008 and Kgalema Motlanthe, reputed to be a non-partisan guy in the ANC, took over, since Zuma isn’t an MP and can’t be President just yet.

The opposition to the ANC is just as ethnic based. In 1994, the National Party, the Afrikaner Apartheid party formed the opposition, but the NP (later New National Party, NNP) gradually became irrelevant, winning 1.7% in 2004. Since then, the NNP died out when it officially merged into the ANC, ironically. Since 1999 the opposition is formed by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the heir of the (small, but gradually stronger) white liberal, progressive anti-Apartheid parties during the Apartheid era. The DA’s voter base remains heavily white (9%) and coloured. Coloureds can mean a variety of people. There are some mixed race, but also a lot of Khoisan (non-Bantu blacks from western South Africa, the original inhabitants of the region). Coloureds and whites speak most Afrikaans, though around 30 to 40% of whites speak English. The other opposition is the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the Zulu party. Because of straight PR, there are a number of smaller parties, around 8-9 won seats in 2004. These parties range from anti-corruption people (UDM and Independent Democrats), Indian parties (Minority Front), Christian right (ACDP, UCDP), pan-Africanists (PAC), Muslims (AMP), and racist white Afrikaners (VF+, the heirs of the Apartheid Conservatives, which found that the NP was not racist enough).

Here are the results of the 2004 election:

ANC 69.69% (+3.34%) winning 279 seats (+13)
DA 12.37% (+2.81%) winning 50 seats (+12)
IFP 6.97% (-1.61%) winning 28 seats (-6)
UDM 2.28% (-1.14%) winning 9 seats (-5)
Independent Democrats 1.7% (new) winning 7 seats (new)
NNP 1.65% (-5.22%) winning 7 seats (-21)
ACDP 1.6% (+0.17%) winning 7 seats (+1)
Freedom Front+ 0.89% (-0.2%) winning 4 seats (nc)
UCDP 0.75% (-0.03%) winning 4 seats (nc)
Pan-Africanist Congress 0.73% (+0.02%) winning 3 seats (nc)
Minority Front 0.35% (+0.05%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Azanian People’s Organization 0.25% (+0.08%) winning 1 seat (nc)

Since 2004, a number of interesting events have taken place. First of all, Jacob Zuma’s election in 2007. Zuma is a left-wing populist who is very popular amongst Zulus (he’s a Zulu) and also a lot of the ANC base. Zuma seems much closer to them than Mbeki did. Zuma is from the party’s left-wing and is close to trade unions (COSATU) but also the Communist Party (SACP). However, Zuma is a crook, even though charges were recently dropped. He’s also accused of raping a girl. All charming stuff.

Not too happy by this, a bunch of Mbeki supporters, led by Mosiuoa Lekota founded the Congress of the People (COPE). Despite taking on the mantle of good government, the COPE is actually the most corrupt hacks of the ANC that lost out in a power struggle. Ideologically, if it does have an ideology, COPE is probably more right-wing than the ANC. Its electoral base will probably be the most well-off/middle-class blacks of South Africa. COPE performed well in by-elections in late 2008, but its early fire seems to have been dimmed a bit lately. Neither COPE nor the DA, due mostly to these parties’ ethnic bases, stand a chance against the ANC, which will probably win a landslide again, albeit not the 70% it got in 2004 (closer to the 63% it got in 1994).

I’m not sure how good polls are in South Africa, but this is a reasonable poll.

ANC 61%
DA 16%
COPE 15%
IFP and Others 8%

The IFP will lose lots of ground this election, and a lot of ground in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial elections. This is due largely to the fact that Zuma is Zulu. On the topic of provincial elections, the ANC is only in danger in Western Cape, where polls show that it is very likely that the DA will win the province.


TRNC (North Cyprus) 2009

The unrecognized Turkish Republic of North Cyrpus (TRNC) held snap parliamentary elections. In power since 2003, the pro-Cypriot reunification Republican Turkish Party (CTP) was defeated by the formerly omnipotent pro-independent National Unity Party (UBP). The CTP government has been hurt by the continued isolation of the TRNC but also by the world economic crisis. The CTP still holds the executive, which probably has more power, but now lacks the support of the legislature. This creates a sort of French-like cohabitation.

UBP 44.07% winning 26 seats (+7)
CTP 29.15% winning 19 seats (-5)
Democratic Party 10.65% winning 5 seats (-1)
Communal Democracy Party 6.87% winning 2 seats (+1)
Freedom and Reform Party 6.2% winning 2 seats (+2)

t/o 81.42%

The former Prime Minister and current UBP leader, Derviş Eroğlu, will be the next Prime Minister with a parliamentary majority behind him. Eroğlu has been all over the place on the peace process/reunification talks with the Greek Cypriots. Now he claims that the UBP won’t shut down peace talks and that they are committed to these talks. During the campaign, he said the Greek Cypriots (and the world) should just accept that the TRNC is an independent nation. It is probably undeniable that the UBP’s victory will be a block to peace talks, though how much of a block it is, it remains to be seen.

Election Preview: India 2009

India, the world’s second largest country and the largest democracy in the world, is voting for one month, until May 16. 714 million voters are registered to vote, although turnout is generally 50-60%. India’s lower house, the Lok Sabha, which is up for election, has 543 seats each representing one FPTP constituency. I won’t pretend to know everything about Indian politics (if such a feat is possible by a non-superhuman), since Indian politics is very divided and very confusing, and getting more divided and confusing by the minutes. Indian politics in the past were generally less divided, but recent elections have seen the rise of formidable regional party machines in various Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

In May 2004, the the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was defeated by the so-called United Progressive Alliance (UPA) dominated by the Indian National Congress (INC), which is led by Sonia Gandhi. Sonia Gandhi declined to become Prime Minister, with the post going to former Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, a Sikh.

39 parties won seats in 2004, although the vast majority of these parties have aligned into one of two alliances: the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) dominated by the Hindu nationalist (and economically right-wing) BJP and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) dominated by the Indian National Congress, a generally centrist to centre-left party dominated by the Gandhi family. The NDA (and the UPA, to a lesser extent it seems) has been deserted by a lot of its regional allies who have formed a Third Front, including the Communists.

Indian politics are relatively anti-incumbent, like Bangladesh. But they’re also unpredictable, despite the pollsters best efforts (polling 15k people or even more). In 2004, for example, the BJP-NDA was widely expected to win a crushing victory. I’ll only mention seat counts here, since popular vote figures are useless in India. It’s possible to poll 40% and win no seats, like it’s possible to poll 10% and win, say, 1o-20 seats. India shows how awful FPTP is.

It would be impossible to explain current Indian politics on a national level, so I’ve decided to break this down into short snippets about each state and Union Territory. For starters, I’ll stick to describing the current seat breakdown without getting too much into the 2009 outlook.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1 MP): These remote islands in the Bay of Bengal have only one MP in the Lok Sabha. Since 2004, the seat is held by the INC, which gained the seat from the BJP (1999-2004). The constituency voted on April 16.
Andhra Pradesh (42 MPs): India’s 5th most populated state is largely Hindu, but speaks a Dravidian language (Telugu). While the INC won a landslide in the state in 2004, with 29 seats, Andhra Pradesh has two important Telugu regionalist parties, both of which are now in the Third Front. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was affiliated with the UPA in 2004, and won 5 seats (6.83%). The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was affiliated with the NDA in 2004, and won 5 seats but over 30% of the vote. Both parties now support a Telangana state.
Arunachal Pradesh (2 MPs): The easternmost state of India high in the Himalayas has 2 MPs, both of which are members of the BJP, gained from the INC in 2004.
Assam (14 MPs): Assam is located just below Arunachal Pradesh and has 14 MPs. The INC has 9 MPs, while the BJP has 2. In addition to one Indie, the regionalist Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has 2 seats.
Bihar (4o MPs): Bihar, in northeastern India, is one of the states dominated by regional parties. The largest of these parties is the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), a member of the UPA in 2004 (and now totally independent, in a so-called Fourth Front) whose support comes from Yadavs and Muslims. The RJD is locally allied with the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJNSP). The RJD lost the 2005 state elections to a coalition led by the Janata Dal (United), or JD(U), which is affiliated with the BJP’s NDA. Ironically, both the RJD and JD(U) originally evolved from the same party. The INC has three seats, while the BJP holds 5 seats.
Chandigarh (1 MP): Chandigarh, the richest city in India, is a Union Territory and a city serving as capital of Punjab and Haryana states. The INC holds the seat representing the city since 1999.
Chhattisgarh (11 MPs): The central Indian state of Chhattisgarh is a BJP stronghold, which won 10 seats in 2004. The INC holds one seat.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli (1 MP): Dadra and Nagar Haveli, formerly part of Portuguese India, is another UT on the west Indian coast. The seat is held by the Bharatiya Navshakti Party (BNP), which is independent of all coalitions, it seems.
Daman and Diu (1 MP): Daman and Diu, also formerly Portuguese and also a UT has one seat, held by the INC.
NCT of Delhi (7 MPs): The Indian capital, New Delhi, has 7 MPs, of which 6 are members of the INC and one is a member of the BJP. In 1999, all 7 MPs were BJP.
Goa (2 MPs): The former Portuguese colony of Goa has 2 MPs, one each for the INC and BJP.
Gujarat (26 MPs): The state of Gujarat, which, contrarily to what the media likes to think, does not have a huge Muslim population (slightly below national average, in fact) is a generally solid state for the BJP, which holds 14 seats against 12 for the INC. The BJP won a relatively important victory in the 2007 state elections.
Haryana (10 MPs): Haryana, a state in northeastern India, is the 3rd richest in India and also the hub of a lot of the Indian industry (IT, and outsourcing). The INC holds 9 seats, the BJP holds one. The BJP has an ally in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which recently joined the NDA.
Himachal Pradesh (4 MPs): Also located in the larger Punjab region but to the north of Haryana, the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh has 4 MPs, three from the INC and one from the BJP. The BJP won the 2007 state elections in a landslide, defeating the INC.
Jammu and Kashmir (6 MPs): India’s northernmost and largest Muslim state has 6 MPs. The INC has two seats, while the JK National Conference has two. The JKNC was allied with the NDA in 2004, but joined the UPA since it now forms government in Kashmir with the INC. The smaller regionalist JK People’s Democratic Party has one seat, while an Independent holds the last seat.
Jharkhand (14 MPs): The east Indian state of Jharkhand has 14 MPs, of which six are Congress. While it topped the poll in terms of votes, the BJP has only one MP. The RJD has 2 MPs, and there is one Communist. The regional (ex)UPA-member Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has four seats.
Karnataka (28 MPs): The south Indian state of Karnatka, which includes the city of Bangalore, has 28 MPs. Despite it being a Dravidian state, Karnataka has become a strong state for the BJP, which holds 18 seats. The INC holds 8. The Janata Dal (Secular), a member of the Third Front, has two seats.
Kerala (20 MPs): The southwestern state of Kerala (and the largest Muslim state, with 24.7%, outside of J&K) is one of the best off states in India, with low poverty, high literacy and HDI. Ironically, the state is a stronghold of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – CPI(M) for short, which was founded in the ’60’s in a pro-Chinese/Maoist lines as opposed to a more pro-Russian (but also pro-cooperation with the INC) Communist Party of India (CPI). Both parties are quasi-identical nowadays. The CPI(M) holds 12 seats, while the CPI holds 3. The Janata Dal (Secular) holds one seat. In terms of local parties, the NDA-ally Federal Democratic Party holds one seat; a Muslim party holds one seat; and the Left-ally Kerala Congress, a Christian party, has one seat. There is one Independent.
Lakshadweep (1 MP): The Lakshadweep Islands off the west coast of India are a Union Territory with one MP. The seat is held by the Janata Dal (United), a BJP ally.
Madhya Pradesh (29 MPs): The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is a BJP stronghold. In fact, the BJP holds 25 seats to the INC’s 4.
Maharashtra (48 MPs): India’s second most populous state and home to Mumbai, the central Indian state of Maharashtra is a swing state in Indian politics. The INC and BJP both hold 13 of the state’s 48 seats. The radical Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena (NDA) holds 12 seats, while the Nationalist Congress Party (UPA), a anti-Sonia Gandhi INC splitoff holds 9. A small Republican Party allied with the UPA has one seat.
Manipur (2 MPs): A small state in northeastern India with a sizeable Christian minority, Manipur has two MPs: one Congress, one Indie.
Megahalaya (2 MPs): Yet another small state in NE India, Megahalaya has a Christian majority (70%). It has Congress MP and one former NCP MP that joined the West Bengal-based All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).
Mizoram (1 MP): See Megahalaya. NE India, Christian. The current MP for the state represents the regionalist Mizo National Front (MNF, part of NDA). The MNF lost the 2008 state election to the INC in a landslide on the back of a strong anti-incumbency wave (anti-incumbency is high in India).
Nagaland (1 MP): See above. NE India, Christian. The current MP represents the regionalist Nagaland People’s Front (NPF, part of NDA).
Orissa (21 MPs): Orissa, on the east coast of India, is another state with a strong regionalist party. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), allied to the BJP until this year, has joined the Third Front. In 2004, the BJD won 11 seats, against 7 for the BJP, 2 for the INC, and one of the JMM which I mentioned above (see Jharkhand).
Puducherry (1 MP): The former French territory of Puducherry/Pondichery has one MP, who represents the Tamil Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK, Third Front). I’ll talk about Tamil politics later when I get to Tamil Nadu.
Punjab (13 MPs): Punjab state in northeastern India has a Sikh majority. The Sikh Shiromani Akali Dal, a member of the NDA and ally of the BJP, holds 8 seats. The BJP has 3 seats, the INC has two.
Rajasthan (25 MPs): The state of Rajasthan, the largest state in terms of land area (but a lot of desert), is generally a BJP ‘safe’ state. The BJP won 21 seats in 2004, against 4 for the INC.
Sikkim (1 MP): Sikkim, a tiny state up there in the Himalayas is the least populated state in India. It has one MP, representing the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF, I think BJP ally, not sure though).
Tamil Nadu (39 MPs): Tamil politics are incomprehensible to the outside world, including me. So I’ll try my best to explain what I do understand. Parties, most of them regional Dravidian parties, don’t really seem to have ideologies, or if they do, it’s very minimal in actual political matters. Of the 39 MPs, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK-UPA) has 16 seats. The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK-Third Front), formerly UPA, holds 4 seats. The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK, Third Front), formerly UPA, holds 5 seats. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK, Third Front), formerly NDA, holds no seats. The AIADMK, however, is the second largest party in the State Assembly. Of the national parties, the INC has 10 seats, and the two Communist parties (CPI and CPIM) both hold two seats each. For reference, here are the results of the 2006 state election.
Tripura (2 MPs): Tripura is a small northeastern state in India, with a mostly Bengali (Hindu) population. The CPI(M) holds both seats.
Uttar Pradesh (80 MPs): With 80 seats in the Lok Sabha, the state of Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state (190 million people. Would be 5th most populated country in the world if independent!). Dominated in the past by the INC, Janata Dal, and later BJP, it is increasingly dominated by local parties. In 2004, the Samajwadi Party (SP), which is independent of coalitions nationally, won 35 seats. The SP’s support is mostly Muslim (18%) or in the lower castes (Dalits). The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is also a lower-caste party led by Mayawati, a dalit herself, but an opportunist more than anything else. The BSP, like so many Indian regional parties, has no ideology except for being Mayawati’s personal machine. The Economist, which understandably has no great love for the BSP or the Indian left (and is certainly biased), says that she is “masquerading as a promoter of dalit rights”. The BSP won only 19 seats in 2004, but the BSP won UP’s first majority government since 1991 in 2007, with Mayawati as Premier. Recently, the BSP has expanded to become a party for all Indian dalits, and this endeavour has been met with some success, based on recent state elections. The BSP, independent in 2004, is now a member of the Third Front and Mayawati is the unofficial leader of the coalition, with some even seeing her as India’s PM. In terms of national parties, the BJP has 10 seats, the INC has 9, and the JD (U) has one. The Jat-based Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has three seats in alliance with the SP, The Muslim National Loktantrik Party (NLP) has one seat, the small Samajwadi Janata Party has one seat, and there is one Indie.
Uttarakhand (5 MPs): Uttarakhand, a northern state, has 5 MPs. The BJP holds 3 seats, while the INC and SP hold one each.
West Bengal (42 MPs): West Bengal in eastern India has been an historical base of Indian communism. The state was a base for  Naxalite, Marxist, and trade unionist movements; and has been ruled by the CPIM for three decades. The CPI(M) holds 26 seats, the INC holds six, and the CPI holds three. The All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) holds one seat, and is allied with the UPA. The All India Foward Bloc, a Communist ally, holds three seats. The Revolutionary Socialist Party, also a CPIM ally, holds one seat.

Voting takes place in five phases. If you’re interested, Wikipedia has a relatively decent page for the polling schedule.

Enough India for today. More stuff later this month.

Indonesia 2009: First Results

The following results from Indonesia concern about 10 million votes. These are not final results.

PD 20.28%
Golkar 14.57%
PDI-P 14.34%
PKS 8.22%
PAN 6.29%
PPP 5.44%
PKB 5.13%
Gerindra 4.4%
Hanura 3.63%
PBB 1.85%
PKNU [Islamic] 1.44%
PBR [Islamic] 1.07%

Others I’m too lazy to list: whatever is left over.

Islam-based parties 29.44%

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