Foreign electoral intervention

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Foreign electoral interventions are attempts by governments, covertly or overtly, to influence elections in another country.

Theoretical and empirical research on the effect of foreign electoral intervention had been characterized as weak overall as late as 2011; however, since then a number of such studies have been conducted.[1] One study indicated that the country intervening in most foreign elections is the United States with 81 interventions, followed by Russia (including the former Soviet Union) with 36 interventions from 1946 to 2000—an average of once in every nine competitive elections.[2][3][4]

Academic studies[edit]

Measurement of interventions[edit]

A 2019 study by Lührmann et al. at the Varieties of Democracy Institute in Sweden summarized reports from each country to say that in 2018 the most intense interventions, by means of false information on key political issues, were by China in Taiwan and by Russia in Latvia; the next highest levels were in Bahrain, Qatar and Hungary; the lowest levels were in Trinidad and Tobago, Switzerland and Uruguay.[5][6][7]

A 2016 study by Dov H. Levin found that, among 938 global elections examined,[a] the United States and Russia (including its predecessor, the Soviet Union) combined had involved themselves in about one out of nine (117), with the majority of those (68%) being through covert, rather than overt, actions. The same study found that "on average, an electoral intervention in favor of one side contesting the election will increase its vote share by about 3 percent," an effect large enough to have potentially changed the results in seven out of 14 U.S. presidential elections occurring after 1960.[2][b][c] According to the study, the U.S. intervened in 81 foreign elections between 1946 and 2000, while the Soviet Union or Russia intervened in 36.[2][11] A 2018 study by Levin found that the electoral interventions determined in "many cases" the identity of the winner.[12] The study also found suggestive evidence that the interventions increased the risk of democratic breakdown in the targeted states.[12]

Typologies of interventions[edit]

In a 2012 study, Corstange and Marinov theorized that there are two types of foreign intervention:[8] partisan intervention, where the foreign power takes a stance on its support for one side, and process intervention, where the foreign power seeks "to support the rules of democratic contestation, irrespective of who wins". Their results from 1,703 participants found that partisan interventions had a polarizing effect on political and foreign relations views, with the side favored by the external power more likely to favor improvements in relations between the two, and having the converse effect for those opposed by the power.

In 2018, Jonathan Godinez further elaborated on Corstange and Marinov's theory by proposing that interventions can be specified as globally-motivated intervention, where "a country intervenes in the election of another country for the interests, betterment, or well-being of the international audience," and self-motivated intervention, where "a country intervenes in the election of another country to further the interests, betterment, or well-being of themselves."[13]

Godinez further theorized that the vested interest of an intervening country can be identified by examining a "threefold methodology": the tactics of intervention, stated motivation, and the magnitude of the intervention.[13]

Also in 2012, Shulman and Bloom theorized a number of distinct factors affecting the results of foreign interference:[1]

  • Agents of interference: each with a descending effect on resentment caused by their intervention, these being nations, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and finally individuals.
  • Partisanship of interference: whether foreign actors intervene to affect institutions and process broadly, or intervene primarily to favor one side in a contest
  • Salience of interference: consisting of two elements. First, "how obvious and well-known is the interference", and second, "how clear and understandable is the intervention?"

Additionally, they theorized that national similarities between the foreign and domestic powers would decrease resentment, and may even render the interference welcome. In cases where national autonomy are of primary concern to the electorate, they predicted a diminished effect of the similarity or dissimilarity of the two powers on resentment. Conversely, they predicted that in cases where national identity was a primary concern, the importance of similarity or dissimilarity would have a greater impact.

Impact of interventions[edit]

According to a 2020 study, Americans "are more likely to condemn foreign involvement, lose faith in democracy, and seek retaliation when a foreign power sides with the opposition, than when a foreign power aids their own party. At the same time, Americans reject military responses to electoral attacks on the United States, even when their own political party is targeted."[14]

Albania[edit]

1991 election (by United States)[edit]

During the 1991 election campaign, politicians of the center-right Democratic Party of Albania claimed that the US government would provide financial assistance to the country. The US government confirmed these claims in a meeting with Democratic Party members.[15]

1992 election (by United States and Italy)[edit]

The United States Agency for International Development, National Democrat Institute and the International Republican Institute provided anti-socialist political groups with aid, training, media support and funding. The US embassy also publicly supported the Democratic Party of Albania.[16] The Los Angeles Times also reported that the US government provided advisors and vehicles to the campaign of the Democratic Party of Albania, and threatened to withhold foreign aid to Albania if the Socialist Party of Albania was victorious in the elections.[17]

Italy supported the Socialist Party of Albania, with Italian former prime minister Bettino Craxi accepting honorary membership in the party to give them legitimacy. Italy also gave more aid to Albania than any other country.[18]

Bangladesh[edit]

1973 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to details from the Mitrokhin Archive, the Soviet Union covertly supported the Awami League in Bangladesh.[19]

Bolivia[edit]

1964 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the CIA covertly financed media, political groups, trade unions, student groups and youth groups in order to break the influence of communists and alleged Cuban operatives in Bolivia, as well as to create a stable government that was pro-USA. Over $1,150,000 was dedicated to this task across 3 years. Starting in August 1964, the US government began to covertly fund the MNR (then the largest political party in Bolivia) during the elections. Following the 1964 military coup by General René Barrientos the US government covertly funded him and propaganda supporting his government.[20]

1966 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the CIA covertly funded groups supporting General Barrientos during the 1966 elections and his rivals in order to ensure they'd accept the legitimacy of the elections.[21] With CIA assistance, Barrientos forces killed Che Guevara the next year.

2002 election (by United States)[edit]

In the Bolivian elections of 2002, the U.S., which had been financing the eradication of coca farms, instructed Ambassador Manuel Rocha to warn Bolivians against voting for socialist candidate Evo Morales, stating that doing so could "jeopardize American assistance and investment."[22] USAID also created the "political party reform project" in Bolivia in 2002, whose aim was to "help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors".[23] The move largely backfired, increasing support for Morales, who finished second in the election. Morales would ultimately be elected president of Bolivia in 2006.[24]

Brazil[edit]

1955 election (by United States)[edit]

Fearing a rise of João Goulart, who the US considered to be a communist demagogue, the United States Information Service increased its budget to educate Brazilians on the alleged dangers of communism and communist front groups, as well as drawing links between the Brazilian Communist Party and the Soviet Union. The US also gave grants to the conservative National Democratic Union.[25] According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the USA also provided an increase in credit to the ruling administration to help them win the 1955 elections.[26]

1962 election (by United States)[edit]

According to Tim Weiner's book Legacy of Ashes, the first use of the brand-new state-of-the-art taping system ordered by John F. Kennedy in the White House in 1962 was to discuss plans to subvert the Brazilian government of João Goulart. Kennedy and his ambassador to Brazil Lincoln Gordon discussed spending $8 million to swing the next elections and to prepare for a military coup against Goulart due to fears Brazil could become a "second Cuba". The CIA and AFL-CIO pushed money into Brazilian political life to people who opposed Goulart.[27] Electoral interference by the US failed to oust Goulart, and the CIA supported a coup that deposed him in 1964, leading to Brazil being ruled by a military dictatorship until 1985.

Canada[edit]

2019 election (by United States)[edit]

Former U.S. President Barack Obama threw his support behind Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau, less than a week before Canadians cast their ballots in the federal election. In a tweet, Obama said that he was proud to work with Trudeau while he was in office. “He's a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change. The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbours to the north support him for another term.” Many Canadians saw this as unwarranted, unjustifiable American interference in the Canadian election.[28]

2021 election (by China)[edit]

The Rapid Response Mechanism Canada reported that it detected Chinese Communist Party (CCP) disinformation operations to dissuade voters from supporting the Conservative Party of Canada during the 2021 federal election.[29]

Chile[edit]

Chilean workers marching in support of Allende in 1964.

1964 election (by United States and Soviet Union)[edit]

Between 1960 and 1969, the Soviet government funded the Communist Party of Chile at a rate of between $50,000 and $400,000 annually.[10]: 32  In the 1964 Chilean elections the U.S. government supplied $2.6 million in funding for candidate Eduardo Frei Montalva, whose opponent, Salvador Allende was a prominent Marxist, as well as additional funding with the intention of harming Allende's reputation.[30]: 38–9  As Kristian Gustafson phrased the situation:

It was clear the Soviet Union was operating in Chile to ensure Marxist success, and from the contemporary American point of view, the United States was required to thwart this enemy influence: Soviet money and influence were clearly going into Chile to undermine its democracy, so U.S. funding would have to go into Chile to frustrate that pernicious influence.[10]: 33 

The U.S. involvement was later revealed by the Church Committee in 1975.[31]

1970 election (by United States and Soviet Union)[edit]

According to information released as part of the findings of the Church Committee, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency supported the kidnapping of the Chilean Army Commander-in-Chief General René Schneider in an attempt to prevent the congressional confirmation of Salvador Allende. The attempt failed and Schneider was shot in the process. He died three days later from his wounds.[32] Thereafter, the U.S. continued a vigorous overt and covert campaign to undermine Allende's Presidency, which may have created the conditions for Allende's overthrow in a violent coup, although the U.S. was not directly implicated in the coup.[33] American official Henry Kissinger was quoted by Newsweek in 1974 saying this about Chile: "I don't see why we have to let a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people".[34]

According to details from the Mitrokhin Archive, the Soviet Union covertly supported Salvador Allende.[19]

Congo-Kinshasa[edit]

1960 election (by Soviet Union, 1960)[edit]

The Soviet Union covertly supported the campaign of Patrice Lumumba's Mouvement National Congolais party.[35] Shortly after Lumumba's victory, the Congo Crisis broke out and Lumumba was assassinated in January 1961. This paved the way for the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko.

Costa Rica[edit]

1966 election (by United States and Nicaragua)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, National Liberation Party (PLN) leader Daniel Oduber Quirós actively sought out support from the United States and his party during the elections. There was also common speculation in Costa Rica that the National Unification Party (PUN) was being funded by outside forces, notably the Somoza family in Nicaragua. The US government offered to use contacts in the AFL-CIO to assist the PLN in their election campaign.[36] Walter and Victor Reuther provided assistance to the campaign by collecting funds in Detroit. The US government preferred a PLN victory, but acknowledged both candidates were pro-USA and anti-communist.[37]

1970 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

The KGB quietly aided the presidential campaign of José Figueres Ferrer by providing his campaign a loan of $300,000 via the Marxist-Leninist People's Vanguard Party in return for a promise of diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union. Once reinstalled as President, Figueres kept his promise.[38]

1986 election (by United States)[edit]

The International Republican Institute supported the conservative Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) to help them win the 1986 elections. They also gave them grants of $75,000, $100,000 and $145,000 in 1986, 1987 and 1988 respectively to the "Asociación para la Defensa de la Libertad y Democracia en Costa Rica" (Association for the Defense of Liberty and Democracy in Costa Rica) a conservative political group.[39]

Czechoslovakia[edit]

1990 election (by United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium)[edit]

According to The New York Times, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funding for political parties was considered controversial in Czechoslovakia, as it was seen as foreign interference favoring political parties close to Vaclav Havel. The NED provided $400,000 in grants, much of which were used to buy computers, fax machines and copiers that were helpful in the campaign. The British Conservative Party also provided 2 campaign experts, and Christian Democrat parties in Belgium and Germany sent more electronics.[40]

Denmark[edit]

1973 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

The Soviet Union covertly funded the Communist Party of Denmark in the 1973 elections.[35]

1975 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

The Soviet Union covertly funded the Communist Party of Denmark in the 1975 elections.[35]

Dominican Republic[edit]

1966 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the US government supported the campaign of Joaquin Balaguer. The government planned to support him "in such a way that United States sponsorship cannot be proven in any way." Methods of supporting Balaguer include financial assistance, advice, media, information and classified forms of assistance.[41]

El Salvador[edit]

1984 election (by United States)[edit]

According to an article from The Washington Post, the US used diplomatic pressure, media support and covert funding to support the campaign of Jose Napoleon Duarte.[42]

Finland[edit]

1956 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

The Soviet Union overtly supported the electoral campaign of Urho Kekkonen in the 1956 elections.[35]

1962 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

The Soviet Union overtly supported the electoral campaign of Urho Kekkonen in the 1962 elections.[35]

France[edit]

1974 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to details from the Mitrokhin Archive, the KGB undertook "active measures" against the campaign of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.[43]

1988 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to details from the Mitrokhin Archive, the Soviet Union provided 10 million francs to support the French Communist Party.[44]

2007 election (by Libya)[edit]

According to French newspaper Mediapart, Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential campaign received 50 million Euros in donations from the Libyan leader, colonel Muammar Gaddafi, which is over twice the French limit for individual campaign donations of 22 million Euros.[45][46] After Sarkozy's victory, Gaddafi went on a 5-day state visit to France, during which the Libyan government purchased military equipment, including 14 Rafale fighter jets.[47] Ziad Takieddine, a French-Lebanese businessman with close ties to Libya, admitted to Mediapart that he had made three trips from Tripoli to France to deliver suitcases filled with 200 and 500 euro notes to Sarkozy. After the election, Gaddafi was invited. In March 2018, Sarkozy was held in custody over these allegations. He was interrogated for 25 hours by the police, during which he denied any wrongdoing, before being released under special judicial supervision.[48]

2017 election (by Russia)[edit]

The 2017 Macron e-mail leaks were leaks of more than 20,000 e-mails related to the campaign of Emmanuel Macron during the 2017 French presidential elections, two days before the final vote. The leaks garnered an abundance of media attention due to how quickly news of the leak spread throughout the Internet, aided in large part by bots and spammers[49] and drew accusations that the government of Russia under Vladimir Putin was responsible. The e-mails were shared by WikiLeaks and several American alt-right activists[50] through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and 4chan.[51]

Germany[edit]

1972 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the US government felt that the KGB supported the Social Democratic Party of Germany-Free Democratic Party social-liberal coalition and "instructed its chief operatives abroad to mobilize all resources in support of their victory". This was done to increase positive relations with East Germany[52]

1980 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to details provided in the Mitrokhin Archive, the KGB covertly supported the Social Democratic Party of Germany in the 1980 election.[53]

2017 election (by Turkey)[edit]

In August 2017, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for all his "countrymen" in Germany to vote against the CDU/CSU, the SPD and the Green Party in the upcoming German federal election. Erdoğan called these parties, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, "enemies of Turkey".[citation needed] Merkel condemned these statements, and responded that all Germans had to right to vote freely without foreign meddling in the electoral process. German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel affirmed Erdoğan's segments were an "unprecedented act of interference in the sovereignty of our country."[54] There are at least 4 million people of Turkish origin in Germany, most of whom customarily align with the SPD or the Green Party politically.[55]

Greece[edit]

1958 election (by United States and Soviet Union)[edit]

During the 1958 election, the CIA "spent large sums of money" on a "wide variety of strategies" in order to covertly support the National Radical Union (ERE).[56]

In an exclusive interview with To Vima, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev heavily criticized NATO and claimed that NATO was preventing the resolution of the Cyprus conflict and that the "colonialists" were trying to impose an illegitimate constitution and partition on Cyprus. He also claimed that NATO leaders planned to install nuclear missiles on Greek soil, which would endanger Greek citizens in the event of a nuclear war. This interview was considered by Konstantinos Karamanlis to be overt electoral interference in favour of anti-NATO parties like EDA and the Progressive Agricultural Democratic Union (PADE).[57]

1961 election (by United States)[edit]

During the 1961 election, the CIA covertly funded the National Radical Union (ERE) and the Centre Union (EK) in order to prevent a victory of the socialist All-Democratic Agricultural Front (EDA). The Greek military, then linked to the CIA, also played a role in ensuring the ERE was victorious by encouraging the public to vote for them.[58]

1974 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, following the legalization of the Communist Party of Greece in 1974, the Soviets covertly gave the party more than $2 million for its election campaign.[59]

Grenada[edit]

1984 election (by United States)[edit]

According to investigative journalist Bob Woodward, the CIA spent $675,000 on education and "getting out the vote" in Grenada after the 1983 invasion. Woodward claims the CIA also used opinion polls to ensure a "strongly pro-US" candidate won the election.[60]

Guatemala[edit]

1958 election (by United States)[edit]

The CIA covertly aided the electoral campaign of José Luis Cruz Salazar (es) of the National Liberation Movement with a payment of $97,000 in order to oust the government of Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes of the National Democratic Reconciliation Party in the 1958 general election.[61]

Guinea[edit]

2010 election (by France)[edit]

Vincent Bolloré, a French billionaire close to then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy, allegedly gave financial support to presidential candidate Alpha Condé in the 2010 Guinean presidential election. He is suspected of having offered Condé discount on advertisements from his ad agency, which he didn't equally offer to his opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo. Condé went on to become Guinean president and gave Bolloré's company port concessions. Bolloré formally denies any wrongdoing.[62]

India[edit]

1967 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to details provided in the Mitrokhin Archive, the KGB covertly supported the Communist Party of India in the 1967 election.[19]

1977 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to details provided in the Mitrokhin Archive, the KGB covertly supported the Indian National Congress in the 1977 election.[19]

Indonesia[edit]

1955 election (by United States)[edit]

The CIA covertly gave a over $1 million to centrist and progressive Muslim political parties to cut support for Sukarno and the Communist Party of Indonesia during the 1955 legislative election. The operation was a total failure.[63] Later, the USA supported the anti-Sukarno Permesta rebellion in 1958 and the military-led 1965 anti-communist massacres.

Iran[edit]

1952 election (by United States)[edit]

Historian Ervand Abrahamian, in an interview with Democracy Now!, said U.S. State Department documents declassified in 2017 reveal that the U.S. strategy was to undermine Mohammad Mosaddegh through parliament and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spent lots of money to get their 18 favorable candidates elected.[64]

1980 election (by United States)[edit]

The United States covertly supported the campaign of Ahmad Madani, who later fled to the USA.[35]

Iraq[edit]

2005 election (by United States and Iran)[edit]

According to Seymour Hersh (citing anonymous sources), in 2004–05 the Bush administration covertly (without even the knowledge of the United States Congress who opposed the plan) funded the political campaigns of its preferred candidates in Iraq's parliamentary election, notably Ayad Allawi, seeking to counter perceived Iranian influence in post-Ba'athist Iraq.[65]

However, this was disputed by officials within the White House, State Department and Congress. Dafna Linzer quotes an anonymous intelligence official as saying: "I don't believe we actually did provide covert support in the end, but the gray area may have been did we ever consider it? Early on, the administration had approved a policy and then, talking to the working level, they saw there was little chance of success and that it was more likely to backfire."[66]

Israel[edit]

1996 election (by United States)[edit]

U.S. President Bill Clinton later acknowledged that, in the wake of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Clinton interfered on behalf of Shimon Peres against Benjamin Netanyahu. Clinton later said that he "tried to do it in a way that didn't overtly involve me".[67]

2015 election (by United States)[edit]

During the administration of President Barack Obama, the U.S. State Department sent nearly $350,000 to an Israeli non-profit organization, OneVoice. Allegations arose claiming the funds were intended to try to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu[68] in favor of Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni.

The State Department did give a grant to OneVoice. $233,500 went to OneVoice Israel, and $115,776 went to OneVoice Palestine. The goal of this non-profit organization is to encourage a two-state solution, and the grant money was intended to fund local activists promoting such a solution in both Israel itself and in Palestine. Palestinians cannot vote in Israeli elections, therefore at best $233,550 could have been spent on Israeli election interference. The grant money was spent by November 2014, before Netanyahu announced new elections, however. In addition, at the time Netanyahu had been in support of a two-state solution. The Obama administration did view a two-state solution as a priority in Israel.[69]

In early 2015, OneVoice partnered with a new organization, V15, which had the stated aim of "disrupting the status quo" and putting a center-left government in power. Netanyahu was not the specific target, but the effect was the same. V15 wanted a new government to negotiate a two-state solution and mobilized voters in an effort to bring that about. V15 was advised by a former Obama campaign strategist, however, there is no evidence that the Obama administration attempted to have any direct or indirect role in affecting the outcome of the 2015 Israeli election. Netanyahu was reelected.[69]

Italy[edit]

1948 election (by United States, Soviet Union and Vatican City)[edit]

In the 1948 Italian elections the administration of Harry Truman, allied with the Roman Catholic Church, funneled millions of dollars in funding to the Christian Democracy party and other parties through the War Powers Act of 1941 in addition to supplying military advisers, in an effort to prevent an election victory for the Popular Democratic Front (FDP), a united front comprising the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) and the Italian Communist Party (PCI), both of which had played key roles in the wartime resistance movement. At the advice of Walter Dowling, the U.S. also invited Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi on an official visit and made a number of related economic concessions.[9][70]: 107–8 

Conversely, the Soviet Union funneled as much as $10 million monthly to the communists and leveraged its influence on Italian companies via contracts to support them.[71] However, many of their efforts were ad hoc in comparison, and the Christian Democrats eventually won in a landslide.[70]: 108–9 

1953 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

The Soviet Union covertly provided funding for the Italian Communist Party during the elections.[35]

1958 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the US believed that providing economic support would contribute to a "favorable election atmosphere" for centrist political parties. The US actively monitored the political situation in Italy and was anxious about a victory by the Italian Communist Party.[72]

1972 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to details provided in the Mitrokhin Archive, the KGB covertly supported the Italian Communist Party in the 1972 elections.[53]

1976 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to details provided in the Mitrokhin Archive, the KGB covertly supported the Italian Communist Party in the 1976 elections, where they saw their biggest electoral wins in their history.[53]

1983 election (by United States and Saudi Arabia)[edit]

According to investigative journalist Bob Woodward, the CIA requested Saudi Arabia spend $2 million to assist in a secret operation to prevent a victory of the Italian Communist Party in the 1983 elections.[73]

Jamaica[edit]

1976 election (by United States)[edit]

Michael Manley and many other members of the PNP suspected "Chile style" CIA interference in the 1976 elections against his democratic socialist government.[74]

1980 election (by United States and Germany)[edit]

During the 1980 elections the CIA and Christian Democrats funded opposition groups against Michael Manley and the PNP.[75]

Japan[edit]

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan received secret American funds during the 1950s and 1960s.[3] This was justified by U.S. Ambassador to Japan Douglas MacArthur II when he said, without evidence, "the Socialists in Japan had their own secret funds from Moscow", adding that funding the LDP helped to "project American power".[76]

1952 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian and evidence collected by journalist Tim Weiner, the US interfered in Japan's first elections following the end of the US-led Allied occupation of Japan, starting with publicly withholding details of the new US-Japanese security treaty from the public in order to stave off criticism of the government.[77] The US also quietly funded the Liberal Party in exchange for the party acting in US interests such as fighting off anti-base protests and supporting a military alliance with the USA.[76][78]

1955 election (by United States)[edit]

According evidence collected by journalist Tim Weiner. The US began to provide covert funding to the new Liberal Democratic Party during Japanese elections.[76]

1958 election (by United States)[edit]

The CIA undertook a number of actions to ensure a victory for the Liberal Democratic Party. This included diplomatic measures such as persuading the South Korean government to grant Japan more liberal fishing rights. Encouraging Vietnam and Indonesia to reach reparations agreements, delivering speeches promoting markets for Japanese exports, speeding the release of war criminals, covertly offering campaign funds, decreasing military spending and promising to relax military presence on the island (a sensitive issue in Japan) and quietly recruited allies in the party through bribes. The CIA also offered payments to Japan Socialist Party members in order to weaken potential anti-American movements.[79]

1960 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian and evidence collected by journalist Tim Weiner. The US continued to provide covert funding and electoral advice to the Liberal Democratic Party, often disguising advisors as US-based businessman.[76][80] By the early 1960s, annual payments of between $2 and $10 million to the party and individual politicians had become "so established and so routine," reported Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence Roger Hillsman, that they were a normal part of bilateral relations.[79]

1963 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian and evidence collected by journalist Tim Weiner. The US continued to provide covert funding and electoral advice to the Liberal Democratic Party, often disguising advisors as US-based businessman.[76][80]

1967 election (by United States)[edit]

According evidence collected by journalist Tim Weiner. The US continued to provide covert funding to the Liberal Democratic Party during Japanese elections.[76]

1969 election (by United States)[edit]

According evidence collected by journalist Tim Weiner. The US continued to provide covert funding to the Liberal Democratic Party during Japanese elections. According to Weiner, the funding was terminated in the 1970s and he does not state is the US funded the LDP during the 1972 elections.[76]

1972 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

The Soviet Union covertly supported the Japan Socialist Party during the 1972 elections by pressuring Japanese companies that did trade with the USSR to financially support the Japan Socialist Party. In exchange for $10 million in contracts with the USSR, these companies provided $100,000 to the Japan Socialist Party.[81]

Korea[edit]

1948 election (by United Nations and the Soviet Union)[edit]

The 1948 Korean elections were overseen primarily by the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea, or UNTCOK. The United States planned to hold separate elections in the south of the peninsula, a plan which was opposed by Australia, Canada and Syria as members of the commission.[82] According to Gordenker, the commission acted:

in such a way as to affect the controlling political decisions regarding elections in Korea. Moreover, UNTCOK deliberately and directly took a hand in the conduct of the 1948 election.[83]

Conversely the Soviet Union forbade such elections in the north of the peninsula all together.[84] Faced with this, UNTCOK eventually recommended the election take place only in the south, but that the results would be binding on all of Korea.[84]

Laos[edit]

1955 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the US government funded the Royal Lao Army, gave money to the government and provided food aid to villages to end supports for communism.[85][86]

1958 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the US government deeply feared a possible Pathet Lao victory in Laos' elections. In response, they gave money to the royal government in order to carry out projects to boost living standards in rural villages (such as constructing schools, roads, medical facilities, wells and general building repairs). The program cost around $500,000.[87] The US government also directly funded conservative candidates.[88]

1960 election (by United States and Thailand)[edit]

During the 1960 elections, the US and Thailand covertly funded the Committee for the Defence of National Interests and bribed their opponents to withdraw. The elections were rigged and marked with extensive fraud.[89] This helped contribute to the 1960 Laotian coups.

1967 election (by United States)[edit]

According to former CIA agent and US diplomat James R. Lilley the CIA worked to ensure "favorable" outcomes in the National Assembly of Laos. He claims "we thought it was important for Vang Pao to have more of a say in the political governing of the country. We figured out whom to support without letting our fingerprints show. As part of our nation building" effort in Laos, we pumped a relatively large amount of money to politicians who would listen to our advice." He also claims that CIA-friendly politicians won 54 out of 57 seats in the National Assembly and that he was called to "Mr. Tammany Hall" by a US Ambassador.[90]

Latvia[edit]

1998 election (by Russia)[edit]

During the Latvian elections, the Russian government overtly supported the pro-Russia National Harmony Party.[35]

Lebanon[edit]

1957 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, in response to growing communist activities in Lebanon and the threat of Syrian-Egyptian influence, the US government gave Lebanon $10 million in economic aid and $2 million in military aid. This was designed to be given to the population (via projects such as low-cost housing, highway construction, irrigation, flood control, rural electrification, water supplies and airport expansion) to boost popular support for the ruling government led by Camille Chamoun before the 1957 Lebanese general election, as well as enhancing the capabilities of the Lebanese military.[91]

This failed to stop instability breaking out the country, culminating with a US military intervention in the 1958 Lebanon crisis.

Malaysia[edit]

1959 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, during the first elections to form the Malaysian parliament, the USA covertly aided the Alliance Party who were running against the Malaysian Islamic Party and the Malayan Peoples' Socialist Front.[35]

Malta[edit]

1971 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, during the second elections Malta had following independence from the British Empire, the USA covertly aided the Nationalist Party who were running against the Malta Labour Party.[35]

Mauritius[edit]

1982 election (by United States)[edit]

The CIA covertly gave financial support to Seewoosagur Ramgoolam of the Mauritian Labour Party in the 1982 general election in an attempt to oust Anerood Jugnath and the Mauritian Militant Movement-Mauritian Socialist Party alliance. This was due to fear that the MMM would close Mauritius' ports to the United States Navy and open up Soviet Armed Forces bases, in addition to challenging US claims to Diego Garcia.[92] The US government authorized the Mauritian government to sell off food aid given to the country via USAID for $2 million, enabling them to create 21,000 jobs to help them win the election.[93]

Mongolia[edit]

1996 election (by United States)[edit]

During the 1996 Mongolian election, that National Endowment for Democracy helped unite several political parties, intellectuals, businessmen, students and other activists into the Democratic Union Coalition and then trained them in grassroots campaigning and membership recruiting. They also assisted in distributing 350,000 copies of a manifesto calling for private property rights, a free press and foreign investment to help convince people to vote out the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party.[94]

Nepal[edit]

1959 election (by United States and India)[edit]

The CIA covertly assisted via "covert operations" for B.P. Koirala and the Nepalese Congress in winning the 1959 election. The Communist Party of India also funded the Communist Party of Nepal during the elections.[95]

Nicaragua[edit]

1984 election (by United States)[edit]

The United States covertly funded and bribed anti-Sandinista opposition leaders to boycott the 1984 elections and convince the world Nicaragua ran a "Soviet style" election.[96]

1990 election (by United States)[edit]

The United States heavily funded and assisted the anti-Sandinista opposition groups in Nicaragua to oust them from power.[97]

Pakistan[edit]

1970 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

According to details from the Mitrokhin Archive, the Soviet Union covertly supported the Awami League in Pakistan in order to assist Bangladeshi independence.[19]

Palestine[edit]

2006 election (by United States and Israel)[edit]

During the 2006 Palestinian elections, Israel hoped that Fatah would prevail over Hamas, the latter being a Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wanted to halt the elections if Hamas ran candidates. However, U.S. President George W. Bush objected to such election interference, and Hamas won, despite millions of clandestine dollars flowing from the Bush administration to Fatah during the closing weeks of the campaign.[98] Then-Senator Hillary Clinton commented at the time: "we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win."[99]

Panama[edit]

1984 election (by United States)[edit]

According to details released during Manuel Noriega's trial, the CIA and drug cartels funded the presidential campaign of Nicolás Ardito Barletta Vallarino.[100]

1989 election (by United States)[edit]

The CIA covertly launched a campaign to oust General Manuel Noriega, then President of Panama, from office. CIA agents helped set up radio and TV transmitters for opposition groups and sanctions were placed on Panama. It was noted that the event happened after a failed coup with alleged US backing in 1988.[101]

Peru[edit]

1962 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, Richard N. Goodwin accused the CIA and State Department of funding the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance in the 1962 elections, starting in 1961. He also claimed the CIA supported the labor movement against Juan Velasco Alvarado.[102]

Poland[edit]

1947 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

Although the agreements at the Yalta Conference called for "free and unfettered" elections in Poland,[103] the Kremlin and the Polish Workers' Party had no intention of permitting an honest election. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was well aware that if Poland held a free election, it would result in an anti-Soviet government.[104] Electoral laws introduced before the elections allowed the government – which since its establishment in 1944 by the Polish Committee of National Liberation had been dominated by the Communists – to remove 409,326 people from the electoral rolls.[105] The 1947 election (along with the previous 1946 referendum) was organized and closely monitored by UB (secret police) specialists, who worked closely with their Soviet counterparts like Aron Pałkin and Siemion Dawydow, both high-ranking officers from the Soviet MGB.[105] In some regions, over 40% of the members of the electoral commissions who were supposed to monitor the voting were recruited by the UB.[105] Bolesław Bierut, head of the provisional Polish parliament (State National Council) and acting President of Poland, asked for Soviet assistance in the election.[106]

Philippines[edit]

1953 election (by United States)[edit]

The United States Government, including the Central Intelligence Agency, had a strong influence on the 1953 elections, and candidates in the election fiercely competed with each other for U.S. support.[107] CIA agent Edward Lansdale purportedly ran the successful 1953 presidential campaign of Ramon Magsaysay.[3][108]

2016 election (by China)[edit]

Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, alleged the Chinese officials in February 2019 bragged about having influenced the 2016 presidential elections to favor President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte said the accusation is false, remarking that he did not need help from any foreign country to secure votes needed to win the elections.[109]

Russia[edit]

1996 election (by United States)[edit]

The first Russian president Boris Yeltsin won his second term in the 1996 presidential elections

A team of private US citizens, campaign experts organized by Felix Braynin, provided assistance to the Yeltsin campaign.[110] The team consisted of Steven Moore, Joe Shumate, George Gorton and Richard Dresner, who worked in Russia four months and received $250,000, plus payment of all costs and unlimited budget to conduct surveys and other activities.[111]

Simultaneously the US administration ensured a US$10.2 billion International Monetary Fund loan to Russia[112] to keep the national economy and pro-Western liberal government afloat.[113] The loan funds were fraudulently misused by Yeltsin's inner circle, and the IMF knowingly turned a blind eye to these facts.[114] Although the aggressive pro-Yeltsin campaign boosted his approval rate from an initial 6%[115] to the 35% that he got during the first round of elections, and later made him win the second round against the Communist competitor, Gennady Zyuganov, with 54% to 41%, there were wide speculations that the official results were rigged.[116]

San Marino[edit]

1959 election (by United States and Italy)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the US and Italy each provided San Marino's government with $850,000 in anticipation of the 1959 elections. This was done to prevent an electoral win of the previously successful Sammarinese Communist Party.[117]

Somalia[edit]

1964 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the US began covert actions to influence the 1964 Somali parliamentary elections in order to ensure the election of government and parliamentary officials in Somalia favorably disposed to the West and allocated $200,000 for this purpose. The program was terminated in 1967.[118]

Sri Lanka[edit]

2015 election (by India)[edit]

It was alleged that the Indian Research and Analysis Wing had played a role in uniting the Sri Lankan opposition, to bring about the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa. There had been growing concern in the Indian government, on the increasing influence of economic and military rival China in Sri Lankan affairs. Rajapaksa further upped the ante by allowing 2 Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy submarines to dock in 2014, without informing India, in spite of a stand still agreement to this effect between India and Sri Lanka. The growing Chinese tilt of Rajapaksa was viewed by India with unease. Further, it was alleged, that a RAW agent, helped coordination of talks within the opposition, and convincing former PM Ranil Wickremasinghe not to stand against Rajapaksa, but to choose a common opposition candidate, who had better chances of winning. The agent is also alleged to have been in touch with Chandrika Kumaratunga, who played a key role in convincing Maithripala Sirisena to be the common candidate.[119]

Taiwan/Republic of China[edit]

2018 election (by China)[edit]

The Republic of China's leaders, including President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier William Lai, have repeatedly accused the People's Republic of China of spreading fake news via social media to influence voters and support candidates more sympathetic to Beijing ahead of the 2018 Taiwanese local elections.[120][121][122] Chinese defector Wang Liqiang claimed he had been instructed to interfere in Taiwan's 2018 midterm elections as well as the upcoming race. “The story was not as shocking in Taiwan as it was in other parts of the world,” said Lev Nachman, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Irvine, studying social movements and focusing on Taiwan. “It is not news to Taiwanese people that China has been co-opting local organisations for political influence.”[123]

Thailand[edit]

1969 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the US government covertly supported Thanom Kittikachorn of the United Thai People's Party, although much of the information remains classified.[124][125]

Togo[edit]

2010 election (by France)[edit]

Vincent Bolloré, a French billionaire close to then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy, allegedly gave financial support to presidential candidate Faure Gnassingbé in the 2010 Togolese presidential election. He is accused of having offered a Gnassingbé discount on advertisements from his ad agency, which he failed to offer to his opponent, Jean-Pierre Fabre. Gnassingbé went on to become the Togolese president and gave port concessions to Bolloré's company. Bolloré formally denies any wrongdoing.[62]

Ukraine[edit]

2004 election (by Russia)[edit]

Round table talks with Ukrainian and foreign representatives during the Orange Revolution on 1 December in Kyiv.

The Russian government publicly attempted to influence the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election.[1] Russian President Vladimir Putin gave public support for candidate Viktor Yanukovych and made public visits to Ukraine on his behalf. According to Kempe and Solonenko, "The overall interest of the Russian elite was to keep Ukraine as a reliable neighbor and partner." This was accomplished by channeling Russian funding and expertise directly into the campaign of Yanukovych or the government of Ukraine, in an effort described as "nakedly partisan".[1] Meanwhile, the U.S., Canada, Poland and Slovakia gave money to build political parties in Ukraine.[1]

2014 election (by Russia)[edit]

Pro-Russian hackers launched a series of cyberattacks over several days to disrupt the May 2014 Ukrainian presidential election, releasing hacked emails, attempting to alter vote tallies, and delaying the final result with distributed denial-of-service attacks.[126][127] Malware that would have displayed a graphic declaring far-right candidate Dmytro Yarosh the electoral winner was removed from Ukraine's Central Election Commission less than an hour before polls closed. Despite this, Channel One Russia "reported that Mr. Yarosh had won and broadcast the fake graphic, citing the election commission's website, even though it had never appeared there."[126][128] According to Peter Ordeshook: "These faked results were geared for a specific audience in order to feed the Russian narrative that has claimed from the start that ultra-nationalists and Nazis were behind the revolution in Ukraine."[126]

United Kingdom[edit]

2016 Brexit referendum (by Russia, United States and Saudi Arabia)[edit]

Pro-EU protesters in Birmingham, September 2018

There is ongoing investigation[129] by the UK Electoral Commission, the UK Parliament's Culture Select Committee, and the US Senate, on alleged Russian interference in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum of 23 June 2016.[130]

In May 2017, it was reported by the Irish Times that £425,622 had potentially been donated by sources in Saudi Arabia to the "vote leave" supporting Democratic Unionist Party for spending during the referendum.[131]

Some British politicians accused U.S. President Barack Obama of interfering in the Brexit vote by publicly stating his support for continued United Kingdom membership of the European Union.[132]

2019 Conservative Party leadership election (by Saudi Arabia)[edit]

Jeremy Hunt's donors include Ken Costa, investment banker with close ties to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.[133][134][135]

United States[edit]

1796 election (by France)[edit]

The French minister (ambassador) to the United States, Pierre Adet, and other French officials, openly supported the Democratic-Republican Party and its presidential nominee Thomas Jefferson, while attacking the Federalist Party and its presidential nominee John Adams.[136] Adams won anyway.

1940 election (by Nazi Germany and the United Kingdom)[edit]

In October 1940, seeking to derail the reelection of incumbent U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nazi Germany bribed a U.S. newspaper to publish a document that Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop hoped would convince American voters that Roosevelt was a "warmonger" and "criminal hypocrite". Leaking the captured Polish government document failed to have its intended effect, and Republican Party presidential nominee Wendell Willkie lost the election.[4][137]

From 1940 until "at least 1944", the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) orchestrated what Politico's Steve Usdin described as an influence campaign "without parallel in the history of relations between allied democracies" to undermine U.S. politicians opposed to American participation in World War II—much of which was documented in a declassified history by William Stephenson, the head of the SIS front organization British Security Co-ordination (BSC). Usdin stated that "SIS ... flooded American newspapers with fake stories, leaked the results of illegal electronic surveillance and deployed October surprises against political candidates."[138]

1960 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

Adlai Stevenson II had been the Democratic Party presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, and the Soviets offered him propaganda support if he would run again for president in 1960, but Stevenson declined to run again.[139] Instead, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev backed John F. Kennedy in that very close election, against Richard Nixon with whom Krushchev had clashed in the 1959 Kitchen Debate.[140] On 1 July 1960 a Soviet MiG-19 shot down an American RB-47H reconnaissance aircraft in the international airspace over the Barents Sea with four of the crew being killed and two captured by the Soviets: John R. McKone and Freeman B. Olmstead.[141] The Soviets held on to those two prisoners, in order to avoid giving Nixon (who was the incumbent Vice President of the United States) an opportunity to boast about his ability to work with the Soviets, and the two United States Air Force officers were released just days after Kennedy's inauguration, on 25 January 1961. Khrushchev later bragged that Kennedy acknowledged the Soviet help: "You're right. I admit you played a role in the election and cast your vote for me...."[140] Former Soviet ambassador to the United States Oleg Troyanovsky confirms Kennedy's acknowledgment, but also quotes Kennedy doubting whether the Soviet support made a difference: "I don't think it affected the elections in any way."[140][142]

1968 election (by South Vietnam)[edit]

In the last months of the presidential election between Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced an October surprise, intended to aid Humphrey, by declaring a cessation to the bombing in the ongoing Vietnam War and a new round of peace negotiations. In response, Humphrey's popularity grew, eventually leading Nixon by three percentage points.

However, the South Vietnamese government, in consultation with the Nixon campaign, announced three days prior to the election that they would not be participating in the talks, and Nixon went on to win the vote by less than a percentage point.[143]

1980 election (by Iran)[edit]

Throughout the 1980 presidential election, negotiations were ongoing between the administration of Jimmy Carter and the government of Iran regarding 52 American citizens who had been taken hostage in November 1979.[143] Although it was recognized that negotiations were nearing a successful conclusion, the government of Iran delayed their release until after the election, potentially in retaliation for the decision of Carter to admit the deposed Iranian leader Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to the United States for cancer treatment.[143][144]

Opinions differ as to the intentional nature of the delay with regard to the outcome of the election. A ten-month investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives concluded that there was "virtually no credible evidence to support the accusations."[145] However, former Iranian President Abolhassan Banisadr claimed there was a deal between Reagan and Iran to delay the release in exchange for arms.[146]

In a declassified memo from 1980, the CIA concluded "Iranian hardliners – especially Ayatollah Khomeini" were "determined to exploit the hostage issue to bring about President Carter’s defeat in the November elections."[147]

1984 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

When Ronald Reagan was running for reelection as president, the Soviet Union opposed his candidacy and took active measures against it.[148] Soviet intelligence reportedly attempted to infiltrate both the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee.[148]

1996 election (by China)[edit]

Bill Clinton and Jiang Zemin holding a joint press conference at the White House in October 1997

In February 1997, officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced they had uncovered evidence that the Government of China had sought to make illegal foreign contributions to the Democratic National Committee.[149][150] Despite the evidence,[151][152] both the presidential administration and the Chinese government denied any wrongdoing.[153][154]

2012 election (by Israel)[edit]

In 2012, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to undermine President Barack Obama in favor of Republican candidate Mitt Romney.[155] Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said that the interference cost Israel aid.[156] Netanyahu has denied that.[157] The accusations included claims that Obama had deliberately snubbed Netanyahu, and another implied that an appearance in a television advertisement was designed by Netanyahu to give support to Romney.[158]

2016 (by Russia and Gulf states)[edit]

Interference in the 2016 election by entities connected to the Russian government was a scandal that dominated the news during the first half of the presidency of Donald Trump.

2016 election (by Russia)[edit]

In October 2016, the U.S. government accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 United States elections using a number of strategies including the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and leaking its documents to WikiLeaks, which then leaked them to the media.[159][160] Russia has denied any involvement.[161]

In response, on 29 December 2016, President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and broadened sanctions on Russian entities and individuals.[162]

In January 2017, following a British intelligence tip-off,[163][164] the U.S. Intelligence Community expressed "high confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign designed to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections, undermine confidence in the U.S. democratic process, harm Secretary Hillary Clinton's chances, and help Donald Trump win.[165]

2016 election (by Ukraine)[edit]

Putin's Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for U.S. National Security

In July 2016, candidate Donald Trump was asked about the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.[166] Trump's statement indicating that he would recognize Crimea as Russian caused alarm in Ukraine, with the Ukrainian Ambassador to the USA Valeriy Chaly writing an article critical of Trump for breaking from the Republican party platform.[167] Other prominent Ukrainian politicians wrote highly critical social media posts, including former prime minister, Arseny Yatseniuk and interior minister Arsen Avakov.[168]

In August 2016, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and Ukrainian legislator Serhiy Leshchenko publicized ledgers alleging that Paul Manafort (Donald Trump's campaign manager) had received $12.7 million in illicit payments from Ukraine's pro-Russia Party of Regions. Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign shortly after. As part of Manafort's plea deal before his second trial in 2018, Manafort admitted to receiving over $60 million from pro-Russia political groups for his work in Ukraine, laundering more than $30 million of it through foreign companies and bank accounts to hide it from the IRS, thereby avoiding liability for $15 million in taxes.[169]

While it has been claimed that Ukraine appeared "to strain diplomatic protocol dictating that governments refrain from engaging in one another's elections",[170] there is no evidence of a top-down effort by Ukraine to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election.[171]

2016 election (by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates)[edit]

Special counsel Robert Mueller investigated a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and an emissary for two Gulf monarchies. In August 2016, Trump Jr. had a meeting with envoy representing Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman and Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates. The envoy offered help to the Trump presidential campaign,[172] although it is unclear what form of help they provided to the Trump campaign if any.[173] The meeting included Lebanese-American businessman George Nader, Joel Zamel, an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation, and Blackwater founder Erik Prince.[174][172] Donald Trump also registered eight new businesses in Saudi Arabia during the election campaign.[175]

2016 election (by Israel)[edit]

According to The Times of Israel, Trump's longtime confidant Roger Stone "was in contact with one or more apparently well-connected Israelis at the height of the 2016 US presidential campaign, one of whom warned Stone that Trump was “going to be defeated unless we intervene” and promised “we have critical intell[sic].” The exchange between Stone and this Jerusalem-based contact appears in FBI documents made public".[176][177]

2018 (by Russia, China and Iran)[edit]

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats accused Russia, China and Iran of trying to influence the 2018 United States elections.[178][179]

2020 (by Russia, China, and Iran)[edit]

U.S. officials have accused Russia and Iran of trying to influence the 2020 United States elections. Donald Trump has separately accused China of influencing the election.[180][181][182][183][184]

On 13 February 2020, American intelligence officials advised members of the House Intelligence Committee that Russia was interfering in the 2020 election in an effort to get Trump re-elected.[185] China and Iran were found to support the candidacy of Joe Biden though no active election interference by either country was reported.[186][187][188] Bloomberg News reported in January 2020 that American intelligence and law enforcement were examining whether Russia was involved in promoting disinformation to undermine Joe Biden as part of a campaign to disrupt the 2020 election.[citation needed] On 21 February 2020, The Washington Post reported that, according to unnamed US officials, Russia was interfering in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries in an effort to support the nomination of Senator Bernie Sanders.[189]

On October 21, 2020, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that Iran and Russia had obtained US voter registration data and that Iran had sent intimidating emails to voters under the name "Proud Boys," a far-right group.[190]

In March 2021 a declassified report found that Russia's electoral interference was meant to support Trump, Iran's electoral interference was meant to hurt Trump, and China did not seek to influence the outcome.[191][192]

2022 (by China)[edit]

In March 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted individuals, including a Ministry of State Security officer, for surveilling and conspiring to smear and physically attack Chinese American political candidate Xiong Yan.[193][194][195]

Venezuela[edit]

1958 election (by Soviet Union)[edit]

The Soviet Union covertly supported Wolfgang Larrazábal who represented a Democratic Republican Union-Communist Party of Venezuela coalition in the 1958 Venezuelan general election.[35] Wolfgang lost to Rómulo Betancourt of Democratic Action.

Vietnam[edit]

1971 election (by United States)[edit]

According to documents provided by the State Department Office of the Historian, the US government carried out a number of covert actions to ensure that Nguyễn Văn Thiệu would get elected.[196] The CIA covertly funded Thiệu and his political allies, as well as pressuring political parties to act in a compliant way.[197]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ These covered the period between 1946 and 2000, and included 148 countries, all with populations above 100,000.
  2. ^ This is, as the author points out, "Assuming, of course, a similar shift in the relevant swing states and, accordingly, the electoral college."[2]
  3. ^ Others, such as Corstange and Marinov,[8] Miller,[9] and Gustafson[10]: 49, 73–74  have argued that foreign electoral intervention is likely to have the opposite effect.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c d Levin, Dov H. (June 2016). "When the Great Power Gets a Vote: The Effects of Great Power Electoral Interventions on Election Results". International Studies Quarterly. 60 (2): 189–202. doi:10.1093/isq/sqv016. For example, the U.S. and the USSR/Russia have intervened in one of every nine competitive national level executive elections between 1946 and 2000.
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Further reading[edit]

  • David Shimer (2020). Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference. Knopf. ISBN 978-0525659006.