Elections around the World 2006


Current Issues

Elections around the World 2006

E-Brief: Online Only issued 22 May 2006, updated 28 September 2006

Adrienne Blunt, Information/E-links
Politics and Public Administration Section


Introduction

This electronic brief provides links to web-based information and full-text articles relevant to selected countries having national elections in 2006.

The electronic brief will cover all elections held in the Pacific region, but coverage will be selective for Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Elections may be presidential or parliamentary (legislative). It will also cover elections that are regionally significant.

The country information is brief. Information covered includes the date and type of election; the number of registered voters; the party in power (where applicable); the type of government; whether voting is compulsory; some key issues; the main players; commentary as the elections unfold; and results when known.

For an explanation of the terms used in this electronic brief, see the glossary.

The links in this document will change as events occur and additional analyses become available.

Elections by date

January

23 January 2006: Canada (Parliamentary)

25 January 2006:Palestinian Territories (Parliamentary)

29 January 2006: Finland (Presidential)

February

March

28 March 2006: Israel (Parliamentary)

31 March 2006: Samoa (Parliamentary)

April

2 April 2006: Thailand (Parliamentary).

5 April 2006: Solomon Islands (Parliamentary)

9 April 2006: Italy (Parliamentary)

9 April 2006: Thailand (Parliamentary by-election as a result of 2 April election)

May

6 13 May 2006: Fiji (Parliamentary)

8 May 2006: Italy (Presidential)

21 May 2006: Cyprus (Parliamentary)

June

July

August

 

3 August 2006: Tuvalu (Parliamentary)

September

17 September 2006: Sweden (Parliamentary)

October

1 October 2006: Austria (Parliamentary)

15 October 2006: Thailand (Parliamentary) *Due to a military coup, this election will now be held in October 2007.

November

7 November 2006: United States of America (USA) (Parliamentary)

December

24 December 2006: Pitcairn Islands (Parliamentary)

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Glossary

Compulsory voting is the legal requirement that people who are eligible to vote are required to do so, and that if a person does not attend the polling place, penalties may be imposed. Sources vary as to the exact number of countries that may be said to have compulsory voting. The presence or absence of mandatory voting laws in a constitution does not recognise the range of enforcement that is possible. It may vary from a symbolic but basically impotent law, to a government with a systematic follow-up of each non-voting citizen and possible penalties such as fines. Not all laws are created to be enforced. Some are created solely to state the government s position regarding what the citizen s responsibility should be.

There are over twenty countries that have some form of compulsory voting in elections. The interpretation of 'compulsory' may vary from country to country. Our list includes the follwing: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nauru, Panama, Singapore, Thailand, some parts of Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The Electoral Commission of the United Kingdom has recently released (June 2006) a Research Report entitled Compulsory voting around the world which looks at those countries with compulsory voting, the level of enforcement, issues and arguments for and against compulsory voting, the events which led to the introduction of compulsory voting in selected countries, how compulsory voting systems operate and the impact of compulsory voting on voter turnout and political engagement. Australia is one of the countries examined in depth.

International IDEA, (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance) lists thirty-two countries that have some form of compulsory voting, and provides a table giving country, type of sanction, level of enforcement, year introduced and comments for each.

In New Zealand eligible voter registration is compulsory but voting is voluntary.

Democracy is government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them or by their elected representatives under a free electoral system.

Government in its broadest sense is the exercise of authority over the people of a nation or community.

Parliament is an assembly of elected or appointed persons, or some of each, with power to make laws and to govern.

A parliamentary election or legislative election is an election to select the members of the national legislative body in a parliamentary system of government.

A parliamentary system of government is one of the two major types of democratic governing systems (the other is presidential government), having an elected body of representatives; a government or council of ministers (cabinet) with a prime minister approved by the majority of members of the parliament; a maximum period of time between elections and a head of state (a monarch or president), who must (even if only ceremonially) assent to bills passed by the parliament in order for the bills to become law.

A presidential election is an election to select the chief of state or head of government (the president) in a presidential system of government.

A presidential system of government is one of the two major types of democratic governing systems (the other is parliamentary government), in which the position and powers of both chief of state and head of government are vested in a president whose election, duties and powers are constitutionally independent of the legislature.

Suffrage means the legal right to vote.

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Election web sites

Psephos Adam Carr s Election Archive

Electionguide gives world wide coverage of national elections, both current and past elections.

International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) Electionguide.org gives election dates, information and results for elections world-wide, back to 1998.

Richard Kimber s Elections and Electoral Systems Around the World has links to a wide variety of election-related web sites. Included is Adam Carr s excellent coverage of recent elections; the Proportional Representation Society of Australia; The Global Initiative to Enfranchise People with Disabilities; the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems; The Electoral Reform Society; the Center for Voting and Democracy; and voter turnout around the world since 1945.

The University of British Columbia Library Elections, Political Parties and Parliaments gives an academic approach to elections and political parties. Here you will find links to information on electoral behaviour, an in-depth look at Australian, British, Canadian and American elections, manifestos, platforms, speeches and political thought.

The Political Studies Association is a United Kingdom based organisation and provides a gateway to election portals, links to the Centre for Research into Elections and Social Trends (CREST), the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). There is also information on internet voting, constitutions, gender and politics and electronic journals.

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Parliamentary Library Elections Publications

Scott Bennett and Gerard Newman, Electoral systems, Research Brief, no.10, 2005-2006

Scott Bennett, Compulsory voting in Australian national elections, Research Brief, no.6, 2005-2006

Scott Bennett, Election 2006: Canada changes government, Research Note, no.23, 2005-2006

Scott Bennett, United Kingdom Election 2005, Research Note, no.51, 2004-2005

Scott Bennett, US Presidential Election 2004, Research Note, no.27, 2004-2005

Scott Bennett, Minority Government for Canada 2004, Research Note, no.8, 2004-2005

Scott Bennett, Electing the US President, Research Note, no.30, 2003-2004

Frank Frost, The Philippines Elections 2004: issues and implications, Research Note, no.13, 2004-2005

Ian Holland and Sarah Miskin, Interpreting Election Results in Western Democracies, Current Issues Brief, no.2, 2002-03.

Sarah Miskin, New Zealand election: 17 September 2005, Research Note, no.17, 2005-2006

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References

This publication acknowledges the following sources:

The CIA World Fact Book (for flags and government information)

Corcoran, R. The Collins Australian Dictionary of Political Terms, North Blackburn, Victoria, Collins Dove, 1994

IFES [International Foundation for Election Systems] Election Guide.org (for glossary definitions)

For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.

Finland

Flag of Finland

Election type: Presidential

Election dates: 15 January 2006 (first round) and 29 January 2006 (second round). If none of the candidates receives a majority of the votes in the first round, a second round run-off is held between the two candidates who gained the most votes in the first round. The last election was held on 16 January 2000 and 6 February 2000.

President: Tarja HALONEN

Number of registered voters: 4 276 967

Compulsory voting: No

In the second round of the Finnish presidential election, of the eight candidates, incumbent Social Democratic Party President Tarja HALONEN (since 1 March 2000) is re-elected, defeating Sauli NIINISTO of the National Coalition Party.

CIA World Factbook Finland provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

CNN World/Election Watch Finland includes the government and electoral structure as well as the names of the eight presidential candidates and their parties.

ElectionGuide Finland gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

U.S. Department of State Background note: Finland provides information on the geography, people, government, economy, historical highlights, the President, Cabinet, judicial systems, administrative divisions, military, political parties, the names of principal government officials, relations with the Soviet Union and Russia, multilateral relations, U.S.-Finland relations, travel and business information.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland is the official web site for Finland s Presidential election 2006. Here you will find information on the candidates, the Finnish Presidency as an institution, previous presidential elections and country information.

News Commentary

  • BBC News article Finns narrowly re-elect Halonen dated 29 January, Tarja HALONEN discusses the second term win by the country s first female President. Also discussed is her opponent, foreign policy position including Halonen s desire for closer ties with NATO.

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Palestinian Territories

Election type: Parliamentary (Legislative Council)

Election date: 25 January 2006.The last Legislative Council election was held on 20 January 1996.

Prime Minister: Ismail HANIYA (Hamas Party)

Number of registered voters: 1 341 671 (as at 13 August 2005 a combination of Gaza and West Bank figures)

Compulsory voting: No

This is the first time the Islamic resistance movement Hamas has contested a parliamentary election. Their clear majority win against the mainstream Fatah Party was unexpected.

The CIA World Factbook has three entries which are helpful when examining the situation in the Palestinian Territories. They are: CIA World Factbook Israel, CIA World Factbook Gaza Strip, and CIA World Factbook West Bank. These entries provide maps and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

CNN World/Election Watch Palestinian Territories includes the government structure, the electoral system, the main parties contesting the race and some interesting facts about this election.

ElectionGuide Palestinian Territories gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

News Commentary

  • BBC News article of 26 January 2006 entitled Who are Hamas? takes an in-depth look at the makeup of Hamas.
  • BBC News article entitled, Q & A: Hamas election victory discusses the implications for Palestinians of Hamas forming a government; the implications for Israel and international diplomacy; who will become the Hamas Prime Minister and the position of the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • Council on Foreign Relations article entitled, Implications of the Palestinian elections dated 26 January 2006 looks at why Hamas won, the size of the victory, is this the fist time a U.S.-designated terror group has won a majority in an elected government, are there similar groups currently in world governments, how will this affect relations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, Palestinian international relations with other countries, E.U. and U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority, possible violence, control of militants and the role of President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • Council on Foreign Relations article entitled Hamas Leaders dated 10 February 2006 discusses past and present Hamas leaders, Hamas in the Palestinian Territories and Syria.
  • A New York Times article entitled Palestinian reports unity deal with Hamas dated 12 September 2006 says Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reached a tentative agreement with Hamas to form a national unity government as a way of ending the Palestinian Authority's international isolation.

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Canada

Flag of Canada

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 23 January 2006. Last House of Commons election held 28 June 2004.

Prime Minister: Stephen HARPER (Conservative Party of Canada)

Number of registered voters: 22 699 291 (as at 30 November 2005)

Compulsory voting: No

CIA World Factbook - Canada provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

CNN World/Election Watch - Canada includes the government structure, the electoral system, the main parties contesting the race and the fact that snap elections were called after the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin (Liberal Party) lost a vote of confidence on 29 November 2005 in the House of Commons.

ElectionGuide Canada gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

On the Canada Votes 2006 web site you will find election results, ridings, candidates, leaders, parties, issues, analysis and commentary.

News Commentary

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Israel

Flag of Israel

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 28 March 2006. Last election held 28 January 2003.

Prime Minister: Ehud OLMERT (Kadima Party). Traditionally, the prime minister is the leader of the largest party. The direct election of the Prime Minister, instituted in 1996, was abolished in 2001.

Number of registered voters: 5 014 622 (estimated as at March 2006)

Compulsory voting: No

CIA World Factbook - Israel provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

CNN World/Election Watch - Israel includes the government structure, the electoral system, the main parties contesting the race and the fact that the entire country is considered one electoral district.

ElectionGuide Israel gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pulled out of the Likud Party on 21 November 2005 and formed the new Kadima Party. Several days later Shimon Peres withdrew from the Labour party to join Sharon in a bid for a new government. This represents a huge realignment in Israeli politics, with the former right and left joining to form the new more centrist Kadima Party.

In January 2006 Ariel Sharon suffered multiple strokes and currently remains in a coma.

According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following the disbandment of the 16th Knesset on 8 December 2005 by President Moshe Katsav, elections for the 17th Knesset are to be held on 28 March 2006. This web site provides background on the election process, election day information, such as parties, candidates, voter turnout, publication of results, final results and the forming of a government.

The official Elections for the 17th Knesset web site provides information about the election process in Israel, the Central Elections Committee, legislation regarding the government, the Knesset and the running of elections, the candidates and parties and, election results when available.

News Commentary

Siegman: Some major surprises in Israeli election - this is an interview with CFR s Israel/Palestine expert Harry Siegman. He says that this is the most significant defeat of the Likud Party in thirty years and discusses the possible make-up of the new government.

Kadima wins, moderately this article by CFR editorial staff discusses acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Kadima party winning the most Knesset seats and the likelihood that it will follow the path set by its founder, Ariel Sharon.

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Samoa

Flag of Samoa

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 31 March 2006. Last election held 3 March 2001.

Prime Minister: Sailele Malielegaoi TUILAEPA (Human Rights Protection Party)

Number of registered voters: 79 284

Compulsory voting: No

CIA World Factbook - Samoa provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

CNN World/Election Watch - Samoa includes the government structure, the electoral system, the main parties contesting the race and the fact that Tuala Tiresa MALIETOA, leader of the Samoa Christian Party, is the first female leader of a political party in Samoa.

ElectionGuide - Samoa gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

Samoa s ruling Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) remains in Government, extending their 24 year incumbency.

The official Samoan election web site, Samoa Election 2006 gives information on electorates, candidates, members of Parliament and early results (as at 31 March).

News Commentary

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Thailand

Flag of Thailand

Election type: Parliamentary (House of Representatives). Elections for the Senate will be held on 19 April 2006.

Election date: 2 April 2006. By-elections on 19 April 2006 and 23 April 2006. Last election held 6 February 2005.

Prime Minister: * Military coup overthrows care-taker Prime Minister Thaksin SHINAWATRA (Thai Rak Thai Party) on 19 September 2006. Coup leader: Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin.

Number of registered voters: 45 232 145 (as at 2 April 2006)

CIA World Factbook - Thailand provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

CNN World/Election Watch - Thailand includes the government structure, the electoral system, the main parties contesting the race and the fact that Prime Minister Thaksin SHINAWATRA called snap elections (3 years early) after thousands of protesters rallied in February to ask for his resignation following the controversial sale of his family s telecommunications conglomerate Shin Corp to Singaporean investors. His critics claim that the sale was engineered so that Prime Minister SHINAWATRA and his family might avoid paying capital gains tax.

ElectionGuide - Thailand gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

News Commentary

  • A Council on Foreign Relations article of 4 April 2006 entitled Thai poll raises new questions says Thai Rak Thai Party candidates failed in 39 constituencies because they did not receive 20 per cent of votes as required by law. Although the Election Committee of Thailand has not announced the final election result, it has said that by-elections will be held in 39 constituencies on 9 April 2006. Applications for candidates commenced on 5 April. Thai electoral officials called for a third round of elections, after voting on 23 April 2006 failed to fill several seats in Parliament.
  • An article dated 3 May 2006, entitled Thailand: Constitutional crisis lingers on discusses the multitude of court cases filed by citizens in an effort to nullify the general election of 2 April 2006.
  • An article dated 9 May 2006 entitled Thai Constitution Court nullifies April 2 polls, says Thailand's Constitutional Court has ruled that the election held on 2 April and its by-elections in late April were against the constitution and has ordered a new poll. The date of the next election has not been announced and care-taker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has not as yet stated whether he will run as a candidate.
  • An ABC Radio Australia article of 16 May 2006 Thai Election Commission proposes October for new polls says the proposed new election date is 22 October 2006, and gives a summary of events thus far.
  • Thai courts reject proposed date for new elections dated 17 May 2006 says Thailand s 3 most important courts (the Supreme, Constitutional and, Supreme Administrative Court) have rejected the newly proposed election date of 22 October, saying that if the current election commissioners do not resign, free and fair elections cannot be guaranteed.
  • A Sydney Morning Herald article entitled Thai poll back on track dated 27 July 2006 says that two of the five Election Commissioners have resigned after the April election. The court found the Commissioners guilty of allowing unqualified candidates to run in the April 23 by-elections. The remaining three Commissioners (supporters of caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin) refused to resign. After one night in jail, the remaining three Commissioners decided to tender their resignations.They have been jailed for four years.
  • A Council on Foreign Relations article of 19 September 2006, entitled Like old times in Bangkok provides full details of the coup, including photographs.
  • Q & A: Thailand's coup impact discusses why the coup happened, what it means for Thailand, what it means for the region and for the Thai economy.
  • The military council installs Surayud Chulanont as Prime Minister on 1 October 2006. According to a China Daily article entitled Thai king oks post-coup Cabinet, a post-coup Cabinet has been announced, with top jobs given to economists, high-profile civil servants and two retired military officers who are expected to govern until elections in October 2007.

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Solomon Islands

Flag of Solomon Islands

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 5 April 2006. Last election held 5 December 2001.

Prime Minister: Manasseh SOGAVARE (Social Credit (Socred) Party)

Number of registered voters: 342 119 (as at March 2006)

Compulsory voting: No

CIA World Factbook Solomon Islands provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

ElectionGuide Solomon Islands gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

This election is the first since the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) arrived in 2003 to restore peace, law and order and good governance to the islands.

Riots erupted in the capital, Honiara on Tuesday 18 April 2006 following the news that controversial politician Snyder Rini had been elected Prime Minister. Mr Rini was accused of corruption by his opponents. On 26 April 2006, Mr Rini resigned ahead of a no-confidence vote. Five government Ministers defected to the opposition leaving Mr Rini without the numbers to defeat the proposed motion of no-confidence. Mr Rini remained caretaker Prime Minister until new Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was elected by the Solomon Islands Parliament on 4 May 2006.

News Commentary

  • A BBC News article entitled Fears of fresh Solomons violence dated 20 April 2006 gives background to the rioting in the Solomon Islands and discusses the possibility of more unrest following the swearing-in ceremony of Snyder Rini.
  • A discussion of events surrounding the resignation of Snyder Rini may be read in a Radio Australia report of 26 April entitled New Solomon Islands PM quits.
  • A Xinhua News article dated 4 May 2006 entitled Sogavare sworn in as Solomon Islands PM says Manasseh Sogavare was sworn in as Prime Minister on 4 May 2006 just hours after being elected by a parliamentary vote and that the new Prime Minister has pledged to tackle problems facing his country, including the root causes of ethnic tension and, corruption.

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Italy

Flag of Italy

Please note: Italy is having two elections in 2006. Parliamentary elections are being held on 9 April 2006 and, Presidential elections are being held on 8 May 2006.

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 9 April 2006. Last election held 13 May 2001.

Prime Minister: Romano PRODI (The Union Party)

Number of registered voters: 50 million (estimated as at March 2006; this number includes about 46.5 million domestic voters and 3.5 million Italians living overseas).

Compulsory voting: No


CIA World Factbook - Italy provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

CNN World/Election Watch Italy

ElectionGuide - Italy gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

Italian Elections 2006 (from FT.com) provides an in depth look at the elections including, editorial comment, analysis, opinion and related stories.

Overseas constituency: for the first time, Italian citizens around the world, including those who have never lived in Italy have the right to vote in an Italian election. Previously Italians living overseas had to go to Italy to vote. Some seats are overseas, including Australia. The overseas constituency consists of four zones:

  1. Europe
  2. North and Central America
  3. South America
  4. Africa, Asia, Oceania, Antarctica

News Commentary

  • According to a BBC News article dated 19 April 2006 entitled Italy confirms Prodi poll victor, the supreme court has declared centre-left Romano Prodi the winner after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (House of Freedoms Party) challenged the election results. The parliament will need to elect a new President (scheduled for 13 May 2006) before the government can be sworn in.
  • A CBC News article of 11 April 2006 entitled The Italian election: hopelessly split? analyses the election outcome, the structure of Italy s electoral system, the possibility of political instability, the key players and the main issues of the campaign.

Italy

Election type: Presidential. The President is elected by the Parliament.

Election date: 8 May 2006. Last election held 13 May 1999.

President: Giorgio NAPOLITANO

Voting: A total of 1,010 voters, comprising 630 members of the lower house, 322 senators and 58 regional representatives vote to elect the President.

ElectionGuide Italy gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

News Commentary

  • An ABC News article dated 9 May 2006 entitled Italy s Parliament fails to pick President says no candidate received the two-thirds majority required for election. Voting was set to resume on Wednesday, 10 May 2006. It is the function of the President to give the mandate to form a government to Romano Prodi, the centre-left leader who won recent elections. Current president Carlo Ciampi s term expires in mid-May, and has indicated he will leave the task of mandating the government to his successor.

Romano Prodi's centre-left Union coalition proposed Giorgio Napolitano, an
80-year old former communist, as its consensus candidate after a day of negotiations with Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right bloc. Napolitano was the agreed candidate after Romano Prodi s previous candidate Massimo D'Alema was strongly opposed by Sylvio Berlusconi.

During the first three rounds of voting, the new head of state must receive a two-thirds majority in order to be elected. This means no candidate is likely to be elected before the fourth round, when only an absolute majority will be required. Outgoing President Carlo Ciampi needed just one day to be elected in 1999 but it took 16 rounds of voting to elect his predecessor, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, in 1992.

  • According to an article dated 10 May 2006 entitled Berlusconi s nightmare now president, outgoing Prime Minister Berlusconi describes newly elected President Giorgio Napolitano as one of them a former communist, saying they have occupied all the top posts of the country. This is not the will of the people .

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Fiji

Flag of Fiji

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 6-13 May 2006. Last election held 25 August to 1 September and 19 September 2001.

Prime Minister: Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE (since 10 September 2000)

Number of registered voters: 468 772

Compulsory voting: Yes

CIA World Factbook - Fiji provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

ElectionGuide Fiji gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

Elections 2006 Fiji Islands is the official elections web site where there is information on Fiji s electoral system, voting, political parties, press releases as well as current and past election results.

News Commentary

  • According to a news article dated 6 May 2006 entitled Long delays mar start of Fiji election Saturday s election got off to an embarrassing start when ballot papers arrived late resulting in long queues with some voters being turned away and asked to return later. Racial tension and possible violence are also discussed.
  • An article of 16 May 2006 entitled Fiji elections neck-and-neck as counting continues says both Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and opposition leader Mahendra Chaudhry are confident of winning a majority in the 71-seat parliament. Of the votes counted so far, the Government has won 20 seats and the Opposition has 19.

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Cyprus

Flag of Cyprus

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 21 May 2006. Last election held 27 May 2001.

Head of Government: President Tassos PAPADOPOULOS (Democratic Party). The president is both the chief of state and head of government.

Number of registered voters: 470 000 (est. 2006)

Compulsory voting: Yes

CIA World Factbook - Cyprus provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

ElectionGuide - Cyprus gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

News Commentary

  • A Council on Foreign Relations article dated 19 May 2006 on entitled Cyprus' Elections provides information on Cyprus' current status, the significance of these elections, the main issues, the parties, registration of Turkish Cypriots, Turkish and Greek positions in this election and the impact on Turkey's potential membership of the European Union (EU).
  •  A BBC news article dated 21 May 2006 entitled Cyprus ruling coalition wins poll says that for the first time in decades, some 270 of the ethnic Turks living in the Greek-held part of Cyprus have been allowed to vote and contest the election. Voters have endorsed leaders who are against reuniting Cyprus with it's Turkish north.

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Tuvalu

Flag of Tuvalu

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 3 August 2006. Last election held 25 July 2002.

Prime Minister: Apisai IELEMIA was sworn in on 14 August 2006 (Previous: Maatia TOAFA since 11 October 2004)

Number of registered voters:

Compulsory voting: No

CIA World Factbook - Tuvalu provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

ElectionGuide - Tuvalu gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

News Commentary

  • According to a Pacific Magazine article Tuvalu: election results bring changes dated 4 August 2006, the general election has brought some sweeping changes to the Tuvaluan Fale i Fono (Parliament), with only seven of the previous members being re-elected, and eight new members coming in. Although Prime Minister Maatia Toafa retained his seat in Nanumea, there is some question as to whether he can hold on as Prime Minister, as all six of his cabinet ministers lost their seats.
  • According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, former opposition MP, Mr Apisai Ielemia was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Tuvalu (replacing caretaker Prime Minister Maatia Toafa) on 14 August 2006 after being elected by a majority of 8 the 15 members of the new Tuvalu Parliament. Mr Apisai Ielemia is also the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Labour.

 

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Sweden

Flag of Sweden

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 17 September 2006. Last election held 15 September 2002.

Prime Minister: Prime Minister Goran PERSSON - Social Democratic Party (since 21 March 1996)

Number of registered voters: 7 076 394 (as at 14 September 2003)

Compulsory voting: No

CIA World Factbook - Sweden provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

ElectionGuide - Sweden gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

News Commentary

  • Fredrik Reinfeldt's conservative Alliance for Sweden has a narrow win over the Social Democrats, who have held power in all but nine years since 1932 according to a BBC News article entitled Analysis: Sweden changes direction dated 18 September 2006.
  • A news article entitled Swedish opposition wins election dated 18 September 2006 says the incoming Prime Minister vows to cut taxes and trim back the welfare state in order to increase employment. The number of seats won and percentage of votes are also included.

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Austria

Flag of Austria

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 1 October 2006. Last election held 24 November 2002.

Head of Government: Chancellor Wolfgang SCHUESSEL (since 4 February 2000)

Number of registered voters: 6 030 877 (as at 25 April 2004)

Compulsory voting: No

CIA World Factbook - Austria provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

ElectionGuide Austria gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

News Commentary

  • An International Herald Tribune article entitled Austria's elections show some still riveted by right-wing says final results are not due for another week, with the incumbent Austrian People's Party government of Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel losing his majority, but with the opposition Social democrats also not having a majority. A coalition between the parties is a possibility.

 

United States of America


Flag of United States

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 7 November 2006 (mid term). One third of the Senate and the whole of the House of Representatives is to be elected. 36 states will also elect governors.

Head of Government: President George W. Bush

Number of registered voters: 210 421 000 (as at Nov 2004)

Compulsory voting: No

CIA World Factbook - USA provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

ElectionGuide - USA gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

The Green Papers - midterm election 2006. This site provides facts, figures, tidbits and commentary on the campaigns leading up to the election.

News Commentary

  • CNN AmericaVotes 2006 provides election results with the latest wins by the Democrats, the makeup of the new congress, comments by President Bush.
  • The Constitutional Rights Foundation's site Election Central provides links to election information by state and nationwide, as well as polls, maps, opinion and results.

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Pitcairn Islands

Flag of Pitcairn Islands

Election type: Parliamentary

Election date: 24 December 2006. Last election held 24 December 2005 (elected members serve one-year terms).

Head of Government: Governor Richard FELL (since 15 December 2004)

Number of registered voters: not known. Population is 47 (as at 2003).

Compulsory voting: No

CIA World Factbook Pitcairn Islands provides a map and sections covering, background history, geography, the people, the government structure, the economy, communications, transport, the military and trans-national issues.

ElectionGuide Pitcairn Islands gives a profile of the country including government structure, electoral system, population, events of significance, past election information and current election information when available.

News Commentary

For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.

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