REIGN Dataset: November 2016 Updates

Opposition supporter holds up sign during rally in DRC - Photo by Eduardo Soteras/AFP/Getty Images

The Rulers, Elections, and Irregular Governance (REIGN) Dataset describes political conditions in every country each and every month. The dataset is used to create CoupCast and other research projects. We regularly update the dataset and summarize recent changes. The newest version of REIGN is always available here.

New Leaders

We recorded only two leader transitions in October 2016. As is the case every six months, San Marino appointed two new Captains Regent, this time selecting two men who have already held this position: Marino Riccardi and Fabio Berardi. The only other leader change we recorded was in the Seychelles, where President James Michel, who had held power since April 2004, abruptly and voluntarily resigned. Vice President Danny Faure formally took power on 16 October and will rule for the remainder of this presidential term.

Election Events

Somalia and Haiti had elections scheduled for October, but both contests were delayed until November 2016. Haiti’s direct presidential election is now scheduled for 29 November. Somalia’s indirect elections are scheduled for 30 November.

The incumbent Democratic Party of Socialists finished first in the 16 October parliamentary elections in Montenegro, but the party lost its majority and efforts to build a governing coalition are on-going. Though the election went smoothly, is has been followed by arrests and allegations of a foiled Russian/Serbian-sponsored coup attempt. On 26 October, longtime leader Milo Djukanovic announced he would resign and pass power to his chosen successor, security chief Dusko Markovic. The date for this leader transition has not been announced.

Iceland is scheduled to hold an election during the final weekend of October, but these results will not be in before the November release of REIGN.

As expected, President Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced that the election planned for November 2016 will be delayed until April 2018.

We are late to code an important referendum in the Ivory Coast, which is widely seen as an effort by President Ouattara to legitimize his rule and extend his power. The referendum calls for a number of changes, including constitutional amendments that would ease the stringent citizenship requirements for presidential candidates, establish a new vice president position, and allow the president to appoint a third of the members in a newly established Senate. The referendum is scheduled for October 30 and we coded the announcement for this referendum as September 2016, as this is when full details of the proposal were made available to the general public.


The current leader of Sao Tome and Principe was not named in the previous version of the dataset. We corrected this erroneous missing value by naming the incumbent, President Evaristo Carvalho.

We added a birth year for Nouri Abusahmain, former leader of Libya.

Looking Ahead to November

Next month will be very busy, with relevant elections in Palau, Nicaragua, the United States, Haiti, and Somalia. We will also be watching political developments in the Balkans as the presidency will rotate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro continues to navigate the implications of its October election, and Macedonia prepares for a contentious December election.

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