International Elections and Leaders: September 2019 Update

One Earth Future, Alejandro Giammattei, Guatemala, Getty Images
Guatemalan candidate for the Vamos (Let's Go) party Alejandro Giammattei shows his inked finger after voting at a polling station in Guatemala City on August 11, 2019. Photo by ORLANDO ESTRADA/AFP/Getty Images

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.

This update provides a quick overview of electoral and leadership changes for the previous month.

International Elections

Two elections to determine the new chief executive took place in August.

Central America

Guatemala held a second round for its presidential election on August 11th. Conservative candidate Alejandro Giammattei won 58 percent of the vote while center-left candidate Sandra Torres came in as runner-up with 42 percent. Both candidates had run previously, and Giammattei’s win took place under record non-turnout, as only 40 percent of eligible voters cast a vote. Giammattei is seen as a conservative hardliner whose policy platform centers around law and order. Specific policy goals for the president-elect include the resumption of the death penalty, a crackdown on corruption, and improvements in job numbers and economic security. Giammattei will officially take office in January 2020.


Nauru held its parliamentary election on August 24th. Incumbent president Baron Waqa lost his constituency seat during the election and the presidency by default.

New Leaders

Two new leaders took power in the month of August.


Mohamed Ould Ghazouani assumed office as president of Mauritania on August 1st. Ghazouani’s assumption of office is the first peaceful transfer of power in the nation’s history. Ghazouani, like his predecessor, is a career military officer and supporter of Abdelaziz, whose tenure began after a military coup in 2008. Little is known about how Ghazouani plans to govern, but his public rhetoric indicates a will to strengthen and mature Mauritania’s democratic system. Keep an eye on Mauritania as the country continues to deal with issues surrounding human trafficking, slavery, and systematic human rights abuses.


Following the induction of a new parliament, the legislative body elected Lionel Aingimea as the 15th president of Nauru on August 27th. Aingimea, a lawyer and law lecturer, has been involved in politics since 2016. Aingimea is expected to address ongoing controversies surrounding migrant detention camps housed on the island and to enact governmental reforms regarding transparency and human rights.

Elections to Watch in September

Two key elections are set to be held in the month of September. Tunisia will hold a snap presidential election on September 15th. Tuvalu will hold its parliamentary election on September 9th.

Interested in more election coverage? Visit the REIGN Dataset page, or read the most recent update on international elections and leaders.