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International Elections and Leaders: August 2018 Update

Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa Zimbabwe presidential election
Getty/Reuters

The REIGN Dataset (Rulers, Elections, and Irregular Governance) covers political conditions in every country each and every month. We update the data set monthly to reflect the most recent political events, such as coups, world elections, and changes in political leadership. We also provide monthly election coverage and track leadership changes in a series of updates called International Elections and Leaders.

International Elections

July experienced several important elections across the globe. In the Americas, Mexico held its presidential election on July 1st. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the MORENA party won with a majority of the popular vote, representing a political shift away from the policies of the incumbent PRI party.

In Asia, Pakistan held its general election on July 25th. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice) party led by former cricket star Imran Khan became the largest party in the national assembly and is expected to form a new government in the coming months. The results of the election have been controversial, being marred by allegations of electoral fraud and jihadist violence targeting the voting process. Cambodia held its general election on July 29th. The incumbent Cambodian People’s Party continued its electoral dominance with around 76 percent of the electoral vote but has faced criticism concerning the transparency and fairness of the electoral process.

In Africa, three major elections took place and one was delayed. South Sudan extended the term of President Kirr until 2021, subsequently delaying the next presidential election until August of that year. Comoros held a referendum vote on July 30th to amend the constitution and remove presidential term limits. The controversial referendum passed with 92 percent of the vote and allows incumbent president Azali Assoumani to run for another term in 2019. Mali held its presidential election on July 29th. No candidate was able to garner enough votes for a first-round win, so a runoff round will take place on August 12th between incumbent Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and opposition challenger Soumalia Cisse. Finally, Zimbabwe held its first election in the post-Mugabe era on July 30th. Incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling ZANU-PF party faced off against 22 other candidates but was primarily challenged by Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The election was marred by violence in Harare and the detention of multiple opposition candidates in the days following the vote. While Mnangagwa has been declared the winner, Chamisa has vowed to challenge the electoral results in Zimbabwe’s judicial system.

New Leaders

As of July 31st, no new executives took formal control of their respective governments. Expect more leader updates in the coming months as presidents-elect are sworn in and parliamentary systems form new governments.

Events to Watch in August

August is set to be a slow month, as no new national executive elections will take place again until September. Mali will hold its runoff round on August 12th. Keep an eye on Zimbabwe as well. Challenges to the electoral results may prove to be an additional source of drama in an already contentious election process.

Interested in more election coverage? Visit the REIGN Dataset page.​