International Election Digest

August 14th, 2014 by Abhi Saini

Turkey, Sweden and Fiji are in the midst of elections! Here’s our breakdown of the latest news.


Turkey hosted their presidential election on August 10. After the first round of voting, current Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (representing the Justice and Development Party) won the election with 51.9 per cent of the vote. Opposition candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu secured 38.3 per cent of the vote.  There will not be a run-off due to the “huge margin” of victory.

During this election campaign, Erdogan said that if elected he will amend the constitution to transform the ceremonial post of president into a “US-style executive powerhouse.” Ihsanoglu expressed no interest in supporting an executive-style presidential system.

During the last presidential election in 2007, Abdullah Gül was indirectly elected as the president by the members of the Grand National Assembly. Constitutional amendments were made to allow the president to be elected directly to serve a five-year term.


The Swedish general election will take place on September 14, 2014. As per the constitution, the election must take place every four years in September to allocate the 349 seats in the Riksdag (Sweden’s parliament). At the same time, elections will also be held for municipal assemblies and county councils. The Swedish electoral system uses proportional representation.

The last Swedish general election was held on September 19, 2010. After the official ballot count, the center-right “Alliance” – comprised of the Moderate Party, Centre Party, Liberal Party and Christian Democrats – secured 172 seats in parliament and won a second term. The “Red-Greens” – comprised of Social Democrats, the Left Party, and the Green Party – secured 157 seats in the parliament. Voter turnout was at 84.6 per cent and over 6 million voters participated in the election.

Presently, there are ten political parties participating in the fall election. According to opinion polls, the Social Democrats are leading with 30.8 per cent of voter support.


Fiji will host its first general election since the 2006 military coup on September 17, 2014. The election writ was recently drawn up by acting Chief Justice Anthony Gates, confirming the election date.

Prior to the adoption of a new constitution in 2013, Fiji had a bicameral parliament comprised of a Senate and the House of Representatives. Fiji now has a parliamentary system comprised of 50 seats, with each member serving for a five-year term. Members of parliament will be elected by a “multi-member open list system” of proportional representation.

On March 5, 2014, Rear Admiral and interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama successfully handed over the Fiji military command to Commander Brigadier Mosese Tikoitoga and announced his plan to run in the election as a candidate. Later in April, Bainimarama announced Dr. Jiko Luveni as the first candidate to join his Fiji First Party (FFP). There are currently five political parties participating in this election.

To ensure a free and fair election, Fiji will set up a task force to monitor the way media outlets report on the campaign.

Stay tuned for more international election news and coverage!

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