Many elections from around the world have been characterized by cases of rigging and fraud. Vote rigging is the process of interfering with the elections either to win as a candidate or to make an opponent lose. Rigging involves increasing the vote share of the preferred candidate or reducing the votes of the opponent. Countries have different laws governing the election process and violation or contravening such laws usually amount to rigging or electoral fraud. From Nazi Germany to 21st Century Sub-Saharan Africa, these are some of the most corrupt election of the past 90 years.
10. Fire Degree and Enabling Act, Germany, 1933
Adolf Hitler convinced the German President Paul von Hindenburg that the parliament needed to be dissolved on his first day as the Chancellor of Germany. The construction was amended to give Hitler and his cabinet the powers to enact laws without involving the Reichstag. The enabling act also gave Hitler the plenary powers and abolished most civil liberties. The enabling act was enacted by the Reichstag where non-Nazi members were threatened thereby voting for the act against their wishes. Only some of the Social Democrats voted against the act because they were kept away.
9. Romanian General Elections of 1946
The Romanian General Elections of 1946 were held on 19th November with the official result giving victory to the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) and its allies inside the BPD.The BPD also won the majority of seats in the parliament (348). However, political commentators accused the BPD of winning through intimidation tactics and electoral malpractices. Many researchers claimed that the party won with 48% and not 80% as it claimed and it did not meet the requirement to form the government. The 1946 election was compared to other flawed elections held at the close of World War II in the countries which made up the Eastern Bloc. The British government also refused to recognize the results.
8. Philippine General Elections Under Ferdinand Marcos, 1965-1986
Ferdinand Marcos was a Filipino politician who ruled the country from 1965 to 1986. He ruled as a dictator with his government characterized with incidences of corruption and brutality. He placed the country under martial law in 1972, silenced the media, and used violence against those in the opposition. In 1965, Marcos won the election to become the 10th president of the Philippines. In 1969 he again won the election marking the beginning of his dictatorship. In 1978, the first formal election was held since 1969. However, the Lakas ng Bayan did not win any seat despite the public support and an apparent victory. The opposition then boycotted the 1981 presidential election which Marcos won with over 16 million vote margins. In 1986 elections, the country united behind Corazon Aquino who headed the United Nationalist Democratic Organization. The Commission on Election declared Marcos the winner despite Aquino winning with over 700,000 votes. Aquino, her supporters, and the international observers rejected the result leading to a revolution that forced Marcos into exile in 1986.
7. UK General Elections, Birmingham and Hackney, 2001 and 2005
The UK’s General election was held on June 7, 2001, to elect the members of the house of common. The Labour Party was re-elected with a landslide result only suffering a net loss of five seats. The election was basically a duplicate of the 1997 elections when Labour Party only lost six seats. The party was popular due to the strong economy and a fall in unemployment. The elections were marked by a low voter turnout for the first time falling below 60%. During Sharron Storer’s election, one of the Birmingham’s residents criticized Prime Minister Tony Blair in front of the media on the conditions of the National Health Services. The incident which happened on May 16, 2001, during Blair’s visit to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham was widely televised because no extra bed could be found for Sharron’s partner at the hospital.
6. Municipal and EU Elections, Birmingham, UK, 2004
Municipal and EU Elections was held on July 15, 2004. The by-election was called after the resignation of Terry Davis after his appointment as the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The area had been dominated by the Labor Party and it was no surprise when Liam Byrne, who was contesting on a Labor Party, won the seat. However, the seat became marginalized because it was won by vastly reduced majority. The by-election was fiercely contested by both the Labor and the Liberal Democrat with both accusing each other of the dirty politics and tricks.
5. Serbian General Elections of 1996 and 2000
The Serbian general election was held on the November 3 and 16, 1996. The election was contested by parties both in the Serbia and Montenegro with the coalition of the Socialist Party of Serbia and its partners emerging the largest block in the Federal Parliament. The opposition held several protests across the county in response to the electoral fraud attempted by President Slobodan Milosevic. The 2000 election was held on September 24, 2000, and was the country’s first free election since 1992. The initial results showed that the Democratic Opposition candidate, Vojislav Kostunica, led the incumbent Slobodan Milosevic but was short of the 50.01% needed to avoid the run-off election. However, Vojislav insisted that he was not only top but had also surpassed the threshold. Spontaneous violence broke up in support of Vojislav forcing Milosevic to resign on October 7, 2000, conceding defeat. The votes were later revised proving Vojislav claims as true.
4. Ugandan General Election of 2006
The Uganda’s first multi-party election was held on February 23, 2006. The incumbent president, Yoweri Museveni, ran for a re-election on a National Resistance Movement (NRM) with his main opponent, Kizza Besigye running on Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). With four months to elections, Besigye was arrested on an allegation of treason. The arrest led to violence and riot across Uganda. Museveni won the election with 59% of the votes while Besigye garnered 37%. NRM, Museveni’s party, also won the majority of seats in the parliamentary elections. The opposition led by Besigye protested the results in Kampala with the Supreme Court rejecting the request to reject the poll despite the majority of the bench admitting that there had been electoral irregularities. The election was characterized by controversies with the government accused of intimidating the opposition leaders are their supporters including arrests and detention.
3. Kenyan General Election of 2007
Kenya’s general election was held on December 27, 2007, to elect the president, Members of Parliament, and Local Council. The presidential election was a race between the Kibaki and the leader of opposition Raila Odinga. The election was marked by ethnic hostility with Kibaki leading the dominant Kikuyu while Raila created a wider base by bringing together five major tribes. Despite the opinion polls indicating that Raila had a significant support across the country, Kibaki was declared the winner with 46% of the votes while Raila garnered 44%. However, Odinga’s party won the majority of seats in the national assembly. Odinga and his supporters disputed the results considering that Odinga had gained the majority of votes in six out of the eight provinces. Also, some Kibaki’s support base had recorded over 100% voters turnout. Kibaki was hurriedly sworn in on December 30, 2007. Violence broke out immediately the results were announced generating into ethnic clashes. The violence left over 1300 people dead and 600,000 displaced. Raila and Kibaki would later form a coalition government with Odinga as the prime minister.
2. Romanian Presidential Election of 2014
The Romanian Presidential Election of 2014 was held in two rounds. In the first round held on November 2, 2014, two candidates out of the 14 qualified for a run-off because none of the candidates obtained more than 50% of the votes; Victor Ponta of Social Democratic Party, and Klaus Iohannis of National Liberal Party (PNL). A second round was scheduled for November 16, 2014, with the constitutional court confirming the election results and validating the election of Klaus Iohannis as the president. The election was marked by protests with voters abroad expressing dissatisfaction with the voting process and demanded that the voting is extended past 9 pm. The final result was seen as a surprise because Ponta was the clear favorite before the second round. The election was also characterized by allegations electoral bribe with the distribution of food to more than 6.5 million people during campaigns. Victor Ponta’s deputy was also accused of illegally persuading voters in Moldova to vote for Ponta. The voting was also characterized by Diaspora voters staging protest around polling stations in Paris, London, New York, and Madrid.
1. Turkish General Election of 2015
The 24th Turkish general election was held on June 7, 2015, with the four major political parties emerging with varied result. The then ruling party, Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost the parliamentary majority garnering only 40.9% of the votes. Other parties which participated in the election included Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP). However, controversies overshadowed the election before, during, and after the results were declared. During campaigns, the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was accused of planning to commit an election fraud and several irregularities. The irregularities included the use of state resources by AKP, incorrect voter data, media biased, and intimidation. These accusations led to political violence and vandalism especially of candidates’ properties. The Supreme Electoral Council was also accused of printing excess ballot papers further generating controversies. The voting process was marked by numerous misconducts. On June 3, 2015, the Volunteer Election Monitoring Group and other election monitoring groups claimed that the parties had recorded extra votes leading to politically motivated violence through the country. The election result produced the country’s first hung parliament with AKP garnering 40.9%, the CHP 25%, the MHP 16.3%, and HDP 13.1%. Talks to form a coalition government broke down several times with the AKP favoring an early election which was finally held on November 1, 2015.