On Elections

How people elect parliaments

National assemblies

–  January 2023  –

(For nations with bicameral national legislatures the assemblies described here are the lower houses; selected entries on upper houses are also included.)

Afghanistan – a bicameral Jirga (National Assembly) of which the lower house is the Wolesi Jirga (House of the People), an intended (see below) assembly of 249 members. 239 seats are allocated among the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. A further 10 seats are set aside in a national division for voters of the Kuchi nomad ethnic group to elect representatives. Members are to be directly elected in these 35 divisions by the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method. A constitutional rule provides that a minimum of 64 of the candidates elected must be female. The voting system, the large number of candidates, and the SNTV method will combine to result in over an unusually large proportion of the votes cast failing to elect a representative. Terms are five years.

The Wolesi Jirga mandated by the recent constitution in fact never operated as constitutionally proposed. A prior legislative assembly had been formed in 2010. From 2015 a process unfolded by which the electoral system was to be reformed, potentially seeing the replacement of the officially current electoral system by a mixed electoral system, partially based on proportional representation. The process took place against the background of a constitutional ban on amending the electoral law in the last year of the Wolesi Jirga term (which ended in June 2015), but the 2010 Parliament’s interpretation of this constraint was itself the subject of controversy. According to the Constitution (article 83), elections should have been held in 2015, but this requirement was not met, and a national election was not in fact held until October 2018. The 2018 election took place under the un-reformed rules (ie: those outlined above). Turnout was estimated at 38%, and due to fraud allegations the elections in Kabul province were annulled, and delayed elections in Ghazni province also did not ultimately occur. Detailed election results were not released until six months later, in May 2019. The chamber commenced operation in April 2019, but following the takeover of the nation by the Taliban in August 2021, parliamentary institutions have been suspended.

Prior to the Taliban takeover in August 2021, Afghanistan had a presidential system of government, in which executive power was exercised by the President subject to only limited constraints by the Wolesi Jirga. The President was directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff method. (Last updated January 2023.)

Albania – a unicameral Kuvendi (Parliament), an assembly of 140 members. Seats are allocated among the nation’s 12 administrative regions in proportion to population (with seat allotments currently ranging from 4 to 32 seats). Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. If a list involves a coalition of parties, an internal allocation of seat numbers among the parties is determined using the Sainte-Laguë formula. In each electoral division party lists must achieve a threshold of 3% of votes cast – or 5% for coalitions – to be eligible to be allocated any seats. Terms are 4 years.

Albania has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is nominally held by the President, who is selected for a five-year term by the Kuvendi by a two-thirds majority, but is exercised in practice by a Kryeministri (Prime Minister) who holds office with the confidence of the Kuvendi. (Last updated January 2023.)

Algeria – a bicameral legislature of which the lower house is the al-Majlis al-Sha’abi al-Watani (or Assemblée Populaire Nationale; People’s National Assembly), an assembly of 407 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties within each provincial division by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. Legislation requires that between 20 and 50% of the candidates for election be women. 8 seats are reserved for Algerians living abroad. Terms are six years. The most recent elections (2021) saw a voter turnout of just 23%.

Nominally, Algeria has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised principally by the Presidence, subject to only limited constraints from the Majlis. The Presidence is directly elected for a five year term by a two-round runoff method. (Last updated January 2023.)

Andorra – a unicameral Consell General (Catalan) (General Council, also known as the General Council of the Valleys), a composite assembly of 28 members. 14 members are directly elected in 7 two-member electoral divisions (‘parishes’) by the block voting method, with the party list winning the plurality of votes awarded both seats. The remaining 14 members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. A candidate may not nominate for both a parish list and the national seat allocation list. Terms are 4 years.

Andorra is a constitutional monarchy in which executive power is vested in two Co-princes, who are the Bishop of Urgell (a Roman Catholic diocese covering the Spanish province of Catalonia as well as the territory of Andorra) and the President of France. This arrangement has existed since the treaty of 1278 between the Bishop of Urgell and the Count of Foix; the latter’s claim later passed to the crown of Navarre, then that of France, and subsequently to the presidency of the French republics. Each of the co-princes appoints a representative in Andorra to exercise their authority. However the system is more akin to the plurality parliamentary model, since actual executive power on most matters is exercised by Primer Minister, who holds office with the confidence of the Consell General. (Last updated January 2023.)

Angola – a unicameral Assembleia nacional, a composite assembly of 220 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties (or coalitions of parties). 90 seats are allocated in 18 provincial electoral divisions, each of 5 seats, by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. The remaining 130 seats are allocated in a single national pool using the simple quota and largest remainder method. 3 of the seats allocated in the national pool are reserved to represent citizens living abroad. Terms are 4 years.

Angola has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Presidente, who is directly elected as part of the elections to the Assembleia, with the constitution providing that “the individual heading the national list of the political party or coalition of political parties which receives the most votes in general elections shall be elected President of the Republic and Head of the Executive”. The resulting presidential term of office is therefore 4 years, linked to the Assembleia elections. The President has legislative powers to govern by decree. The present and future Presidents are limited to two terms. (Last updated January 2023.)

Argentina – a bicameral Congress of which the lower house is the Cámara de Diputados, an assembly of (currently) 257 members. Each of the 24 Argentinian provinces elects a minimum of five deputies, calculated as three deputies plus one more per 161,000 population as at the 1980 census (an obvious historical anomaly that is yet to be rectified), subject to a five deputy minimum. Terms are four years, but elections are held every two years, with half the representatives elected at each election (127 seats in one cycle, 130 in the other). At each election, seats are allocated by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula, to all parties which win at least 3% of the vote in each province.

Argentina has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidente subject to only limited constraints from the legislature. The Presidente is directly elected for a four-year term by a modified the two-round runoff system (in which a first round result of at least 45% of the vote, or 40% together with a 10% lead on the runner-up, is sufficient for a first-round victory), and individuals are limited to 2 terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Armenia – a unicameral Azgayin zhoghov (National Assembly), an assembly of at least 101 members (plus 4 additional members with partial voting rights). An initial total of 101 members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated by a composite of the closed party list and open party list systems of seat allocation to parties that win at least 5% (or coalitions of parties which win 7%) of the national vote, using the D’Hondt divisor formula.

Each of 13 electoral regions – 4 in the capital Yerevan and 9 in other regions – are allocated a number of seats, averaging around 8. Each party list must include at least 25% representation of nominees of each gender, with no more than three consecutive listed nominees being of the same gender; in practice, this ensures that at least every fourth listed candidate is female. Every voter is permitted to support only a single party, and may also vote for one local candidate from the local list of nominees of each party in their electoral region. Once the national total vote shares are known, the relative ratios of those vote shares won by each of the seat-eligible parties and coalitions is applied within each of the 13 electoral regions (that is, unlike in other region-based seat allocation systems, the vote shares won by parties within each region are not used) to allocate seat numbers to each party in each region. Once such seat numbers are identified and nationally aggregated, half of each party’s total national allotment is filed by nominees from each party’s national ‘closed’ list. The other half of each party’s successful nominees are drawn from the list of local electoral region nominees, with the D’Hondt formula again used to identify numbers of places in the electoral regions. Once the number of local seat awards for each party in each region is thus identified, these positions are then filled in the order of the personal vote totals won by local candidates, as happens in other ‘open’ list seat allocation systems. Thus the voters may influence the selection of up to around half the individual members of the Assembly, with the other half being pure party nominees. Leading party figures are therefore effectively guaranteed of appointment to the Assembly.

Once the initial allocation of seats is complete, the composition of the Assembly may then be modified by applying any of three additional rules. Firstly, if the leading party or coalition has won more than 50% of the vote but has failed to secure at least 54% of the total seats (initially, 55 seats) then it is awarded bonus seats to bring it up to at least 54% of the modified total number of seats.

Secondly, if a dominant party has won more than two thirds (67) of the initial 101 seats, then the non-government parties are (proportional to one another) awarded bonus seats to bring the seat share of the dominant party down to below two-thirds of the revised total number of seats.

Thirdly, if after a close election (in which the leading party fails to secure 50% of the national vote) an Assembly governing coalition of no more than two parties or election coalitions together representing 54% of the Assembly seats cannot be found within 6 days of the poll, a special second-round run-off vote between the two leading political parties/coalitions will be held within 28 days. The winner of this vote then receives bonus seats to bring it up to at least 54% of the revised total number of seats. (At the first election under this system in 2017, it appears that the governing Republican Party won only 49% of the national vote, but secured 54% of the seats, thus satisfying this rule immediately).

Finally, four additional seats in the Assembly are established for representatives of nation’s ethnic minorities – Yezidis, Russians, Assyrians and Kurds. These seats are all awarded to the nominees of the political party that led the national vote share. Parliamentary voting by these members is limited to issues of ethnic relevence.

Terms are 5 years.

Until 2017 Armenia had the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Naxagah (President), who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. From the formation of a parliament-based government after the April 2017 parliamentary elections, the position of President will convert to one of more limited ceremonial powers. (Last updated April 2017.)

Australia – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the House of Representatives, an assembly of (currently) 150 members. A nominal total of 144 seats (twice the number of senators) are divided among the six Australian states by the majority remainder allocation method using a quota derived from the current legislated number of Senators for the states and the population of each state. Any state allocated fewer than five seats by that calculation has its allocation of seats increased to 5 in accordance with a constitutional minimum; currently only the state of Tasmania benefits from this rule. Five additional seats are allotted by legislation to the two main non-state territories, based on population but with a minimum of two seats for the Northern Territory. The allocation of seats to each state and territory is recalculated after each (roughly triennial) election. Redistributions of division boundaries are administered by an independent electoral authority whenever a state or territory’s seat allocation is altered, or in any case at least every seven years. Members are directly elected to these seats in single member divisions by the compulsory preferential voting method. Terms are up to three years. This electoral system dates from 1902, modified by the adoption of preferential voting from 1918, compulsory voting from 2022, and codified fully in 1984.

The upper house of Parliament is the Senate, an assembly of 76 members. Each of the six Australian states is allocated 12 seats, and each of the two main territories is allocated 2 seats. The state senators are elected in two three-year cycles, with six senators elected in each cycle at elections conventionally called for the same date as House of Representatives elections. In prescribed circumstances involving legislative disputes between the two houses the government may dissolve the Senate fully, resulting in all 12 state senators being elected at an early election, after which the two-phase rotation of terms of senators is restarted. The territory senators serve terms matching the term of the House of Representatives, and thus serve terms of three years or shorter. All Senate elections are conducted using the single transferable vote (STV) system, with the added feature that voters’ ballots allow them to either indicate preferences for the candidates individually, or indicate preferences between political parties as groups (known as ‘above-the-line‘ voting.)

Australia has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the King and exercised by a Governor-General. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the House of Representatives. (Last updated January 2023.)

Austria – a bicameral Parlament of which the lower house is the Nationalrat (National Council), a composite assembly of 183 members. The 9 Austrian Länder (states) are each allocated a share of the total of 183 seats in proportion to population (recalculated after each census). Länder are further subdivided into regional electoral divisions (Regionalwahlkreise), most recently totalling 39 divisions at the 2018 elections.

Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation in three ascending stages based on party vote totals first in the electoral divisions, then in aggregate in the Land, and finally in aggregate nationally.

For the first two stages of counting, for each Land a Wahlzahl quota is calculated, being a simple (Hare) quota of votes based on the total number of votes cast in the division and the total number of seats allocated to that Land.

In the first stage, party vote totals within each Regionalwahlkreise division are divided by that Land’s Wahlzahl, and seats are allocated in each division to parties for each whole Wahlzahl quota of votes they have won.

For the second stage, all unused votes from the divisions of each Land (ie: the votes within electoral divisions of all parties which did not win seats in the first stage, plus the remainders above quotas of the votes of parties which did win seats) are aggregated. The resulting aggregated vote totals in each Land are then used in a fresh seat allocation, again awarding one seat for each whole Wahlzahl, except that only parties with 4% of the land-wide vote are eligible to be allocated seats at this stage.

For the third stage, a similar practice of aggregating nationwide all votes not used to award seats at stages one and two is carried out. All parties which won 4% of the nation-wide vote, or else won at least one seat (termed a Direktmandat) in the first stage of counting, are eligible to be allocated seats in proportion to their third-stage national remainder of unused votes. This stage allocates a number of seats equal to 183 minus the total number of seats already awarded, this time using the D’Hondt formula.

At each stage, the determination of the individual candidates to receive each party’s seats is nominally by party list order. However at the same time as identifying their supported party each voter may mark ‘preferences’ on their ballot for up to three of the individual candidates of that party. Candidates move to the top of the party’s list if they are preferred by 14% of the voters supporting that party at the local division level, 10% at the land level, or 7% at the national level.

Terms are five years. This unusual electoral system dates from 1920, with significant modifications in 1970 and 1982.[ii]

Austria has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional Bundespräsident who is directly elected. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Bundeskanzler (Chancellor) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Nationalrat. (Last updated January 2023.)

Azerbaijan – a unicameral Milli Majlis (National Assembly), an assembly of 125 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Terms are 5 years. Turnout in Azerbaijani elections is low (47% at the most recent elections in 2020), and results are dominated by the ruling New Azerbaijan Party.

Azerbaijan has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Prezident, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. (Last updated January 2023.)

The Bahamas – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the House of Assembly, an assembly of 39 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Terms are up to five years.

The Bahamas, a Commonwealth nation, has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the King and exercised on his behalf by a Governor-General. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the House of Assembly. (Last updated January 2023.)

Bangladesh – a unicameral Jatio Shôngshod (National Assembly), a composite assembly of 350 members. 300 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. A further 50 seats reserved for women are not directly elected but are allocated to parties in proportion to their share of the national vote for the local divisions; the individual women to fill these seats are then elected by the 300 initial elected MPs. Members lose their seats automatically if they vote against or resign from the party in whose name they were elected. Terms are five years.

Bangladesh has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional president who is elected by the Jatio Shôngshod. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Pradhānamantrī (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Jatio Shôngshod. (Last updated January 2023.)

Belarus – a bicameral Nacyjanaĺny schod (National Assembly) of which the lower house is the Palata Pradstawnikow (House of Representatives), an assembly of 110 members. All members are directly elected in single member divisions by the two-round runoff method, with the additional requirement of a 50% turnout for a plurality win in the first round, and a 25 % turnout for a second round election, for a result to be valid. Terms are four years.

The quality of freedom of elections in Belarus is contested, and at the most recent elections in 2012 the main opposition parties called for a voter boycott. The government stated that turnout was around 66%, but critics alleged that it was around 30%. Virtually all the elected candidates were described as ‘independents’ but these were largely supporters of the ruling party.

Belarus has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by a President who in turn appoints a Prime Minister and government with the consent of the Palata Pradstawnikow. The President is directly elected for a five year term by the two-round runoff method system. (Last updated January 2023.)

Belgium – a bicameral Federaal Parlement (Dutch) or Parlement Federal (French), of which the lower house is the Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers or Chambre des Représentants (Chamber of Representatives), an assembly of 150 members. Seats are allocated among 11 electoral divisions[iii] in proportion to population, resulting in numbers of seats ranging from 4 to 24. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by the open party list system of seat allocation using the D’Hondt divisor formula (the scholar Victor D’Hondt who proposed the first use of this method in 1899 was Belgian). Candidates must alternate in gender down the list order, although the open list approach allows voters to change the order in which final seats are allocated to party candidates. In 9 of the 11 divisions there is a minimum vote threshold of 5% for parties to be eligible for seats. The resulting assembly has an unusual voting procedure based on the division of the Belgian electorate into two ethnic/linguistic ‘language groups’, Flemish (Dutch-speaking) and Walloon (French-speaking). Each member of the Kamer is identifiable with one of the two groups. Five of the electoral divisions, to which 79 seats are allocated, elect exclusively Flemish representatives. Another five of the divisions, to which 49 seats are allocated, elect exclusively Walloon representatives. The final electoral division, in which Brussels is located, is allocated 22 seats, and elected representatives for this division may choose to identify as either Flemish and Walloon in the Chambre. Votes in the Kamer are only approved if they win a majority of delegate votes among both of the linguistic groups of delegates. Terms are five years. This electoral system dates from 1831, with significant modifications in 1899 and 1919 [iv].

Belgium has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the monarch. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Eerste Minister (Dutch) (Premier Ministre (French) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Parlement. (Last updated January 2023.)

Belize – a bicameral National Assembly of which the lower house is the House of Representatives, an assembly of 31 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. A speaker may be appointed by the House from outside its members. Terms are 5 years.

Belize has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister, who hold office with the confidence of the House of Representatives. A president is limited to two terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Benin – a unicameral Assembleé nationale (National Assembly), an assembly of 83 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. Seats are allocated within 24 electoral divisions based on the nation’s departments. Terms are 4 years.

Benin has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. A president is limited to two terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Bhutan – a bicameral Chi Tshog (Parliament) of which the lower house is the Tshogdu (National Assembly), an assembly of 47 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by a modified form of the two-round runoff method. In the first round voters indicate only a simple preference among the available political parties contesting the election. The second round consists of contests in each of the single member divisions limited to the candidates of the two parties that achieved the two highest nationwide votes in the first round. Terms are 5 years.

Bhutan is a constitutional monarchy in which executive power is vested in the Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King). In 2008 the new monarch peacefully established a new system of a constitutional democracy, completing reforms initiated by his father in 2002. While the King still plays a prominent role in society, the system of government is now the plurality parliamentary one, in which most executive power is in practice exercised by the Lonchen (Prime Minister) and the government formed in the Tshogdu. (Last updated January 2023.)

Bolivia – a bicameral Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional (Plurinational Legislative Assembly) of which the lower house is the Cámara de Diputados (Chamber of Deputies), a composite assembly of 130 members, elected by a form of Additional Member System. 63 deputies are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. A further 60 members are not directly elected but seats are allocated to parties by the the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the Niemeyer method. Seats are allotted to each of the 9 Bolivian states (departments) in proportion to population, each receiving a share of 123 seats in total. The vote shares used to determine the allocation of seats to parties in each department are based on the votes cast in the nation’s Presidential election, which occurs simultaneously with the Asamblea elections. In each department the threshold for parties to be allocated seats is 3% of the vote. Under the Niemeyer approach, a simple quota is calculated using only the votes won by those eligible parties, and these parties are awarded seats for each of these latter quotas that their vote amounts to, with the largest remainder  rule used to fill any remaining places. Once the final party allocations are determined in each of the 9 departments, the number of the 63 local electoral divisions won by candidates of each party are deducted, yielding remaining numbers of seats to be allocated to each party from the party lists. The actual party lists must alternate between male and female candidates. Finally, in 7 special geographical electoral divisions (consisting of 7 of the 9 Bolivian ‘departments’ or regions) representatives of minority indigenous or campesino peoples in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Voters may vote in either one of the 63 general single-member divisions, or one of the 7 indigenous/campesino divisions, but not both. Terms are 5 years.

Bolivia has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Presidente, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. A presidente is nominally limited to two terms of office, although the current presidente is serving a third term due to his first term preceding the introduction of the term limit rule. (Last updated January 2023.)

Bosnia and Herzegovina – a bicameral Parlamentarna skupština (Parliamentary Assembly) of which the lower house is the Predstavnički dom (Bosnian), Zastupnički Dom (Croat) or Представнички Дом (Serbian) (House of Representatives), an assembly of 42 members. When the nation was formed in 1995 it was divided into two federal entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBH) and Republika Srpska (RS) in which the distinct Bosniak and Croat (in FBH) and Serb populations (in RS) would have greater security and self-determination. In the years since then the national political institutions have increased in importance. Members of the Predstavnički dom are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties at both district and regional levels. 28 seats are allocated to FBH, and 14 to RS. Each region is further divided into electoral districts (5 in FBH and 3 in RS) in each of which districts between 3 and 6 seats (totalling 30 seats nationwide) are allocated by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the Sainte-Laguë method. The remaining 12 seats, in two pools (7 in FRH and 5 in RS), are used to achieve party levelling, with proportional entity-wide party totals determined (limited by a 3% entity-wide eligibility threshold), and the seats allocated to any party which is entitled to them are filled by drawing the most supported individual list candidates who have not already been awarded a seat at district level. Candidate lists must include at least 40% candidates of each gender. Almost all political parties exist in only one of the two regions, and the party system is quite fragmented with 12 parties being allocated seats at the 2014 elections. Terms are 4 years.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is nominally vested in a joint three-person Predsjedništvo (Presidency) consisting of Bosniak and Croat members elected in FBH, and a Serb member elected in Republika Srpska, each elected separately by the plurality voting method to together serve a four-year term. However actual executive power is exercised by a Predsjednik Vijeća ministara (President of the Council of Ministers) who is nominated by the Predsjedništvo and must be endorsed by the Predstavnički dom. (Last updated January 2023.)

Botswana – a unicameral National Assembly, an assembly of 63 members. 57 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. An additional 4 members are selected by the National Assembly from a list proposed by the President. The final two members are the President of the Republic and the Speaker of the National Assembly, the latter being selected by the Assembly from outside its ordinary membership. Terms are 5 years.

Botswana has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is selected by the National Assembly. A president is limited to a maximum term of ten years in office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Brazil – a bicameral Congresso Nacional of which the lower house is the Cámara de Deputados, an assembly of 513 members. Seats are allocated proportionally to the 26 states and the federal district, with each such division being allocated seats in proportion to population, but within a limited range of 8 to 70 seats, which results in malapportionment at both the upper and lower end of the range. The effect of this malapportionment favours representation of the smaller rural and regional states at the expense of the larger industrialised and urbanised states; the largest state of São Paulo would have around 110 seats, rather than 70, under an equal proportional allotment.

Voting is open to citizens aged 16 or 17, and mandatory for citizens aged 18 to 70. Deputies are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to political parties within each state and the federal district by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder formula. Votes may be cast for a party generally, or for an individual candidate, both of which are aggregated to derive a party vote total for use in the seat allocation. Only parties which achieve one full quota of votes are eligible to be allocated any seats in a state. Finally, the order of votes tallied for individual candidates is used to determine the allotment of party seats to individual candidates. A Supreme Court ruling in 2017 directed that members may not abandon their original political party without in doing so abandoning their seat, resulting in the seats being de facto the possession of the relevant political parties. Terms are for four years.

Brazil has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidente (President) subject to only limited constraints from the legislature. The Presidente is directly elected for a four-year term by the two-round runoff system. Individuals are limited to 2 consecutive terms of office, but may run again after 2 terms out of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Bulgaria – a unicameral Narodno Sabranie (National Assembly) of which the sole house is an assembly of 240 members. Bulgaria is divided into 31 electoral divisions corresponding to the 28 Provinces of Bulgaria, with an additional two divisions for the city of Sofia and one for Plovdiv. The 240 seats are allocated among the 31 divisions in proportion to population, with seat numbers in the divisions ranging from 4 to 16. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the Niemeyer method, to parties which win 4% of the total national vote. Terms are for four years.

Bulgaria has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is directly elected by the two-round runoff system. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Ministar-predsedatel (Minister-President) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Narodno Sabranie. (Last updated January 2023.)

Burkina Faso – a unicameral Assemblée nationale (National Assembly), a composite assembly of 127 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder formula. 111 seats are allocated to 45 electoral divisions bases on the nation’s provinces in proportion to population, with seat numbers ranging from 2 to 9. The remaining 16 members are elected in a single national pool. Terms are 5 years.

Burkina Faso has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. A president is limited to two terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Burundi – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the National Assembly, a composite assembly of up to 123 members. 100 Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Seats are allotted among 17 electoral divisions in proportion to population. Parties must achieve at least 2% of the formal vote nationally to be eligible to be allocated seats in any electoral division. Party lists must be structured so that 60% of deputies are of the Hutu ethnic population, with the remaining 40% of the Tutsi ethnic population. Lists must also aim to ensure that 30% of seats are allocated to women. Additional members are appointed by co-option (following the 2020 election, 20 members were co-opted) to ensure that ethnic and gender targets are satisfied. A final 3 co-opted members are added to represent the Twa ethnic group. Terms are 5 years.

Burundi has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. A president is nominally limited to two terms of office, however the rule is contested and the current President is serving a third term. (Last updated January 2023.)

Cabo Verde – a unicameral Assembleia Nacional, an assembly of 72 members. The nation is divided into 16 multi-member electoral divisions that are allotted between 2 and 15 seats in proportion to population. Three of these divisions, consisting of 2 members each, are for representatives of citizens living in the rest of Africa, the Americas, and Europe. In these divisions members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using a combination of cumulative voting and the D’Hondt divisor formula. Terms are 5 years.

Cabo Verde has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is vested in the Presidente who is directly elected for a five-year term, but is in practice exercised by the Prime Minister who holds office with the confidence of the Assembleia. (Last updated January 2023.)

Cambodia – a bicameral Reastr ney Preăh Réachéanachâk (Parliament) of which the lower house is the Rôdthsâphéa (National Assembly), an assembly of 125 members. Seats are allocated among the nation’s 21 provinces in proportion to population, with provincial allotments of seats ranging from 1 to 18. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Terms are 5 years.

Despite these structural arrangements, elections in Cambodia are not conducted in fair and open political circumstances, In 2016 the incumbent regime banned the main opposition party, leading to the July 2018 election being conducted with only nominal non-government candidates and in a climate of closed media and voter intimidation, resulting in the Cambodian People’s Party winning every seat in the Assembly.

Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy in which executive power is vested in the King, however in practice the nation has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which power is exercised by the Prime Minister who is selected by the Parliament prior to appointment by the King. (Last updated July 2018.)

Cameroon – a bicameral Parlement, of which the lower house is the Assemblée Nationale, an assembly of 180 members. There are 49 electoral divisions based on departments. In departmental divisions allocated a single seat members are directly elected by the plurality method. In divisions allotted multiple seats the members are not directly elected by seats are allocated using a closed party list system of seat allocation based on an unusual allocation method. If a party obtains an absolute majority of votes its list is allocated all the available seats. Otherwise the party with the highest vote is allocate half the available seats, and the remaining seats are allocated to other parties which won at least 5% of the vote in proportion to their vote shares relative to one another, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. The Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement is highly dominant, winning over 75% of total seats at the 2020 elections. Terms are 5 years.

Cameroon has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for seven-year terms. (Last updated January 2023.)

Canada – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the House of Commons or Chambre des communes, an assembly of 3338 members. Each of the 10 Canadian provinces is allocated a number of seats determined by the population of the province at the preceding decennial national census divided by a predetermined quotient (which value was set at 111,166 for the 2014 redistribution, and is set to increase after each census according to a formula), rounded up. Each province is then allocated additional seats to ensure that it has at least as many members as it has national Senators (which numbers are specified for each province in the national Constitution), and also at least as many members as it had in the year 1985. These two rules have the practical effect of increasing the number of seats for the smaller provinces. After adjusting province seat allocations to satisfy the above two rules, each province will be then be allocated the smallest number of additional seats necessary to ensure that the ratio of seats in each province to the total number of all province seats (as the total stood after the first two rules were applied) is equal or greater than the ratio of the population of that province to the total population of all the provinces (with all population values being those as at the preceding decennial census). The third rule has the practical effect of increasing the allocations to the medium and larger sized provinces and bringing the whole allocation to all provinces into an approximately proportional final result. Finally, one further seat in the House is allocated to each of the three non-province Territories.

All the members are directly elected in single member divisions (‘ridings’) by the plurality voting method. Terms are up to four years.

Canada has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the King and exercised by a Governor-General. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the House of Commons. (Last updated January 2023.)

Central African Republic – a unicameral Assembleé nationale, an assembly of 105 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the two-round runoff method. Terms are 5 years.

The Central African Republic has had a difficult history since independence in 1060, which can best be classified as a presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who was generally directly elected for a six-year term by the two-round runoff method.

The National Assembly was dissolved in 2014 and new legislative elections will be held, after which a national unity government will be formed and a prime minister will be chosen from the opposition parties. These developments have yet to take place. (Last updated January 2023.)

Chad – a unicameral Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly) of which the sole house was most recently a composite assembly of currently 188 members. Each of 59 electoral divisions – the boundaries of which are based on local districts – was allocated a number of seats determined by the populations in those districts. Districts with a population below 50,000 are allotted one seat, those with populations over 50,000 two seats, and an additional member is allotted for every additional 40,000 residents. Electoral division seat allotments were the aggregate of the allotments of the districts within each region.

At the 2011 election (the first since 2001) 25 of the electoral divisions were allotted a single member, who was elected using the two-round runoff method. The remaining 34 divisions were allotted seats in numbers ranging from 2 to 5. In these multi-member divisions parties nominatde closed party lists of candidates equal to the number of seats available. Where a party wins more than 50% of the vote in a division, all the seats were awarded to their list nominees. In any other case, the available seatsweare divided proportionally among the party lists using the highest remainder formula. Terms are four years.

Chadian politics was for many years dominated by President Idriss Déby and his governing MPS party, with a fragmented array of small parties making up the remainder of the political landscape. No parliamentary election has taken place since 2011. In April 2021 President Déby was killed during military operations, resulting in a coup which suspended the Constitution and dissolved the National Assembly. Elections have been tentatively scheduled for 2024.

Chad has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidence (President) subject to only limited constraints from the legislature. The President is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff system. (Last updated January 2023.)

Chile – a bicameral Congreso Nacional of which the lower house is the Cámara de Diputados, an assembly of 155 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to political parties in 28 multi-member electoral divisions, electing between 3 and 8 members in proportion to population, by the open list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Terms are four years.

The current electoral system was introduced after 2015 (and first used in November 2017) replacing a unique ‘binomial’ system consisting of 60 two-member electoral divisions. The previous system, introduced by the former Pinochet regime in the 1980s, had involved both significant pro-rural malapportionment and was also by its nature severely discriminatory against small parties, effectively forcing Chilean political parties to merge into joint coalition candidate lists at election time. The 2015 system instead requires political parties to be registered in at least 8 of the nation’s 15 provinces, or in at least 3 geographically contiguous provinces, to be eligible to run lists of candidates. This rule – together with the realities of many small-magnitude electoral divisions – continues to give parties an incentive to form into electoral alliances nominating joint lists.

Chile has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidente subject to only limited constraints from the legislature. The Presidente is directly elected for a four-year term by the two-round runoff system, and individuals are limited to a single immediate term of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Colombia – a bicameral Congreso of which the lower house is the Cámara de Representantes, an assembly of (currently) 166 members. Each of the 32 Colombian departments (states) and the capitol district of Bogotá constitutes a separate electoral division. Each division is allocated two representatives plus one additional member for every 250,000 residents, or major fraction (125,000) thereof, above the first 250,000 residents. The total number of seats thus increases with population growth. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. InAn additional 5 members are elected from 4 special electoral divisions for the representation of Indian communities (1 representative), Afro-Colombian communities (negritudes) (2 representatives), other minorities (1 representative), and for Colombian citizens abroad (1 representative); members are directly elected to these divisions by the plurality voting method. Terms are four years.

Colombia has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidente subject to only limited constraints from the legislature. The Presidente is directly elected for a four-year term by the two-round runoff method, and individuals are limited to 2 terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Comoros – a unicameral Assemblée de l’Union (Assembly of the Union), a composite assembly of 33 members. 24 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the two-round runoff method. The remaining 9 members are not directly elected but are selected by the local island assemblies of the three islands (Anjouan, Grande-Comore and Mohéli, selecting 3 members each). Terms are 5 years.

The Comoros has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a single four-year term by the two-round runoff method. The presidency rotates between candidates from the three islands in successive four-year terms. (Last updated January 2023.)

(Democratic Republic of the) Congo – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the National Assembly, a composite assembly of 500 members. The electoral divisions across the nation include 60 single member divisions and 109 multi-member divisions. The members in the 60 single member divisions are directly by the plurality voting method. The 440 members for the multi-member divisions are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. Terms are five years.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised jointly by the Président (President) and also the Premier-ministre (Prime Minister). The Président is directly elected for a five-year term by the plurality method. The Premier-ministre is chosen on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the National Assembly. (Last updated January 2023.)

(Republic of The) Congo) – a bicameral Parlement of which the lower house is the Assembleé nationale, an assembly of 153 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the two-round runoff method. The Republic is a one-party state with the Congolese Labour Party as the dominant political party. Terms are 5 years.

Congo has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. A president was until recently limited to two terms of office, but a referendum in October 2015 has approved he repeal of this rule, allowing a president to run for a third term. (Last updated January 2023.)

Costa Rica – a unicameral Asamblea Legislativa (Legislative Assembly) of which the sole house is an assembly of 57 members. Seats are allocated in proportion to population among 7 electoral divisions which are based on the boundaries of the Costa Rican provinces. The division based on the capital San Jose is allocated 19 seats, with other divisions allocated between 4 and 11. Parties are required to have male and female candidates alternating on their lists, and of their 7 district lists female candidates must be at the top of their lists in 3 or 4 of them. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties within each provincial division by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. Deputies are barred from re-election for consecutive terms. Terms are four years.

Costa Rica has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by a Presidente subject to only limited constraints from the Asamblea. The Presidente is directly elected for a four-year term by a modified plurality voting system, constrained by the rule that if the leading candidate fails to secure 40% of the vote, the top two candidates recontest a second round of voting. Individuals are barred from re-election for consecutive terms. (Last updated January 2023.)

Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) – a unicameral Assemblée nationale (National Assembly), an assembly of 255 members. Members are directly elected in 205 conscriptions (electoral divisions). 169 of the conscriptions are allotted one seat and the plurality voting method is used, while the remaining 36 conscriptions see between 2 and 6 members elected using the block voting (scrutin de list) method is used. The Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace party has heavily dominated recent elections, and almost all non-dominant party members are elected as independents. Terms are 5 years.

Côte d’Ivoire has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. (Last updated January 2023.)

Croatia – a unicameral Hrvatski Sabor (National Assembly) of which the sole house is an assembly of 151 members. 140 seats are allocated to 10 electoral divisions, each of 14 seats. The electoral division boundaries are not based on local administrative boundaries, but are special boundaries drawn according to a legal requirement that each division’s population of voters varies by no more than 5% from the mean. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by the semi-open party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula, to parties which win at least 5% of the total vote in that division. Voters may mark a vote for an individual candidate against their chosen party list, and any candidate who individually wins 10% or more of the total vote has precedence over the list order in allocating seats to individuals. A further 8 seats are reserved for representatives of Croatia’s 22 ethnic minorities (3 of these seats being for Serbian voters). Finally, 3 seats are allocated to representatives of Croatians living overseas. These two additional groups of seats are also filled by party list seat allocation systems. Terms are four years.

Croatia has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Predsjednik Hrvatske (President), a constitutional president who is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff system, and individuals are limited to two terms of office. However, primary executive power is exercised by the Premijer (Prime Minister), nominated by the Predsjednik on the basis of the confidence of a majority in the Sabor. The Predsjednik and the Premijer share some foreign relations and defence roles. (Last updated January 2023.)

Cuba – a unicameral Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular (National Assembly of People’s Power), an assembly of 612 members. All members are semi-elected in multi-member divisions of between 2 to 5 members, with seats determined by a ratio of one for every 20,000 residents. Nomination is not free to all citizens, but is organized through ‘municipality commissions’ and also workers’ representative organisations administered by the ruling political party. The nomination process results in one candidate being nominated for each available seat, but elections are still held and each candidate must secure 50% of the vote to confirm their seat, failing which a new candidate will be sought through a fresh nomination process. Terms are five years.

Cuba has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by a Presidente (being the President both of the nation and also of the Council of State, and also referred to as either Prime Minister or Premier). The President is chosen by the Asamblea Nacional (although since 1959 only the brothers Fidel and Raúl Castro have held the office). (Last updated January 2018.)

Cyprus – a unicameral Vouli ton Antiprosópon (Greek, also Temsilciler Meclisi (Turkish), House of Representatives), an assembly of nominally 80 members, but in practice 56 members. The arrangements predate the division of Cyprus and purport not to recognise that division. Seats are allocated in a 7:3 ratio between voters (and candidates) from each of the Greek (currently 56 seats) and Turkish (nominally another 24 seats) Cypriot ethnic communities, which divide geographically. However, since the political division of Cyprus in 1963 (roughly along the geographic line of ethnic division) the Turkish community places have not been filled. The 56 seats currently filled by Greek Cypriot voters are allocated in proportion to population to 6 electoral divisions based on the boundaries of administrative districts. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by the open party list system of seat allocation. There are three rounds of distribution of seats/ In the first, done within each of the six districts, parties are awarded seats using the simple quota and the largest remainder method with one seat for each whole quota. A second distribution pools all unsuccessful votes, including successful parties remainders, and pools all seats yet unallocated, and and allocates seats to parties using a second simple quota calculation, but only to parties which achieved a vote share of 3.6% nationwide (10% for coalitions). If the total of seats allocated still falls short of 56, these final remaining seats are awarded in order of vote share total to any party which won more that 7.2% of the vote nationwide. Voters may mark one individual candidate preference for every four seats available in their electoral division. Parties may identify party leaders, who are always given precedence on the lists when awarding seats allocated to parties to individual candidates, and after that other candidates come in order of the voters’ marking of preferences. Terms are up to five years. The Vouli also has 3 non-voting observer members representing the Maronite, Latin and Armenian ethnic minorities.

Cyprus has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President subject to a division of responsibilities and powers shared with the Vouli, which is formally independent of the President. The President is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff system, but under a policy of balancing ethnic divisions candidates for the position must be Cypriot citizens of the Turkish ethnicity. (Last updated January 2023.)

Czech Republic (Czechia)– a bicameral Parlament of which the lower house is the Poslanecká Sněmovna (Chamber of Deputies), an assembly of 200 members. For the election of the Poslanecká Sněmovna the nation is divided into 14 electoral divisions based on administrative regions. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt method[viii], to parties which win 5% of the total vote in that region (for multi-party coalition lists the threshold is higher: 5% per party included, up to a maximum threshold of 20%). Voters mark ballots with up to four preferences for individual candidates within their chosen list. Individual candidates who receive more than 5% of the preferences on the ballots supporting their party are raised up to the top of the list order for allocating seats won. Terms are four years.

The Czech Republic has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional president who is elected by a joint session of the Parlament. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Předseda Vlády (Prime Minister, or Chairman of the Government) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Poslanecká Sněmovna. (Last updated September January 2023.)

Denmark – a unicameral Folketinget, a composite assembly of 179 members. 175 of the members are indirectly elected by a partially open party list system of levelled seat allocation. Each voter may vote for a party list, for one of the candidates on a party list (which vote will be counted as a vote for that party), or for an independent candidate (whose votes are counted as if she were a party). 135 seats are filled in 17 electoral divisions based on the 10 Danish districts by a system of seat allocation using the D’Hondt divisor formula. 40 supplementary seats are then allotted so that the total seats for each party is equal to a proportional share of the 175 seats, calculated by the Sainte-Lague method. To be eligible for any of the 40 supplementary seats parties must either (i) pass the threshold of 2% of the national vote, (ii) win at least one division (district) seat, or (iii) win at least a Hare quota of aggregate votes/aggregate seats (of the initial 135 seats) in two of the three national provinces. The party list system is a blend of ‘open’ or ‘closed’ approaches; each party may choose from among a number of methods for how the seats won by that party will be distributed among its individual candidates. Parties may choose an open list approach, but the closed list order is the most commonly chosen method, and for such parties the threshold for the personal vote for an individual candidate to override the list order is very high. Finally, Danish citizens in the overseas territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands each elect two members to the Folketinget by the SNTV direct election voting method. Terms are up to four years. This electoral system dates from 1849, with significant modifications in 1855 (trialling aspects of the early STV system proposed by Carl Andrae), 1915, 1920 and 1953.[ix][x]

Denmark has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Queen. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Statsminister (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Folketinget. (Last updated July 2023.)

Djibouti – a unicameral Assemblée Nationale of which the sole house is an assembly of 65 members. Seats are allocated among six electoral divisions in proportion to population, in numbers ranging from 3 to 35. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by block vote system, such that in each division the party list that obtains the plurality of the vote is awarded 80% of the seats for that division. The remaining 20% of seats (13 in total nationwide) are allocated by the closed party list system of seat allocation to parties (other than the party winning the block vote in each division) that won at least 10% of the vote, but if there are no such other parties in a division then these seats are also awarded to the majority party. Terms are five years.

Until 2012 the electoral system provided that the plurality party would be awarded all the seats for a division. From 1999 to 2013 this highly distortionary system saw the dominant People’s Rally for Progress (RPP) party and its coalition partners hold all 65 seats. RPP has not been out of office since national institutions of government were established in 1979. Djiboutian elections are regularly boycotted and their integrity is highly disputed.

Djibouti has the presidential system of government, in which executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is directly elected for five year terms, nominally by the two-round runoff method, although no recent election has seen the RPP candidate win less than 80% of the official vote. The President appoints a Prime Minister and cabinet. (Last updated January 2023.)

Dominican Republic – a bicameral Congreso Nacional (National Congress) of which the lower house is the Cámara de Diputados (Chamber of Deputies), an assembly of currently 190 members. 178 seats are allocated in 32 Circuncriptions (electoral divisions) based on the 31 provinces and the national capital district, on the basis of one deputy per 50,000 inhabitants or remainder in excess of half that quota, provided that each province must have at least two deputies in total. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. A further 5 seats are allocated to parties which won at least 1% of the national vote but were not allocated any seats in the 32 regional districts. A final 7 members are elected from among citizens who are resident oversees. Terms are 4 years.

The Republic has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. A president is limited to a single consecutive term of office, but may run again at future elections after a term out of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Ecuador – a unicameral Asamblea Nacional (National Assembly), a composite assembly of 137 members. These members are not directly elected but seats are allocated to parties in two categories by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the Sainte-Laguë method. One category of 116 seats in total are allocated in multi-member regional districts. A second group of 15 seats are allocated in a national pool. Finally, 6 representatives of citizens living abroad are elected in 3 overseas divisions – Canada/United States, Latin America and Asia/Europe/Oceania – in each of which 2 representatives are directly elected using the SNTV method. Terms are 4 years.

Ecuador has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by thetwo-round runoff method, with the proviso that if a candidate scores 40% of the vote and is 10% ahead of their nearest rival, that candidate wins on the first round. A president is limited to two 4-year terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Egypt – a unicameral Majlis Al-Sha’ab (People’s Council), a composite assembly of 596 members. The composition of the Majlis, and related election laws, were significantly reorganised during 2014-15 and and again for the 2020 elections. As of the 2020 elections, 284 members are directly elected in 143 electoral divisions of either 1 or 2 seats, using the two-round runoff system. The remaining 284 members are not directly elected, but are allocated to political parties in four very large-magnitude electoral divisions (filling 100, 100, 42 and 42 seats respectively) by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. The President of Egypt also appoints a final 28 supplementary members of the majlis. Terms are 5 years.

Egypt has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Rỷys (President), who is directly elected for a 4-year term by the two-round runoff system. A president is limited to two terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Éire – a bicameral Oireachtas (Legislature) of which the lower house is the Dáil Éireann (literally ‘Assembly of Ireland’, but also translatable as National Assembly), an assembly currently of 160 members. TeachtaiDála (members) are directly elected in 40 multi-member divisions (termed ‘constituencies’) by the single transferable vote (STV) method. Éire is one of only two nations in the world – the other being Malta – to elect its lower house by this method. The STV method, used in Ireland since 1921, was entrenched in the national constitution in 1937 and two referendum attempts (in 1959 and 1968) to replace it with plurality voting were rejected by the electorate. The Constitution also sets the minimum number of seats in a division at three, and requires that the overall ratio of members in each division to population must fall between 1:20,000 and 1:30,000. Legislative provisions adopted in 2011 provide that the number of members must be between 153 and 160. Constituency boundaries are reviewed by an independent commission at least every 12 years to reflect changes in population distribution and to minimise malapportionment; the most recent revision applies from the 2016 election. Each electoral division is allocated either 3, 4 or 5 seats, and the specific seat allocations to divisions are recalculated for each election. If at an election the sitting presiding officer of the Dáil (the Ceann Comhairle) does not retire, he or she is deemed to have been automatically re-elected in their constituency, and that constituency elects one fewer member than its initial allocation of seats. Candidate names are listed on ballot papers in individual alphabetical order in a single column. By-elections are held using preferential voting, which often causes the vacant seat to change hands between parties. Terms are up to five years.

Éire has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a directly elected constitutional Uachtarán (President). However, actual executive power is exercised by the Toiseach (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Dáil. (Last updated January 2023.)

El Salvador – a unicameral Asamblea Legislativa, an assembly of 84 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated, in two tiers, to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. 64 seats are allocated to electoral divisions based on the nation’s 14 regional departments, which are allotted numbers of seats in proportion to population (currently ranging from 3 to 16). A second group of 20 seats are allocated in a national pool. Voters may mark preferences for any number of individual candidates from within or across parties, but their vote will be divided into fractions (totalling one vote) using such preference marks for the purpose of determining the total ‘number of votes’ achieved by each party list. Once the numbers of seats to allocate to each party list are calculated, the preference totals for individual candidates are again used to determine which individual candidates are awarded seats. Terms are 3 years.

El Salvador has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Presidente, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. A presidente is limited to a single consecutive term of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Equatorial Guinea – a bicameral Parlamento of which the lower house is the Cámara de los Diputados (Chamber of Deputies), an assembly of 100 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation. Parties must achieve 10% of the vote nationwide to be eligible to be allocated any seats. Terms are five years.

Equatorial Guinea is effectively a one-party state, with the dominant Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea party winning 100 out of 100 seats at the most recent elections in 2022; only 8 opposition members have ever been elected to the Cámara since its establishment.

Equatorial Guinea has the presidential system of government, in which executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is (nominally) directly elected for five year terms by the two-round runoff method. Current president Teodoro Obiang has been in office since 1979. The President appoints a Prime Minister and cabinet. (Last updated January 2023.)

Estonia – a unicameral Riigikogu of which the sole house is an assembly of 101 members. Seats are allocated in proportion to population among 12 electoral divisions, in numbers ranging from 6 to 13 seats. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by an open party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Votes are cast for individual candidates, each of which is identified by party. Within each division a simple Hare quota is determined. An individual candidate who wins that quota of votes within their division is assured of a seat. The sum of the votes for candidates in each party is then examined, and for each full quota of votes a party receives they are allocated one seat. However, a party (or coalition) is only eligible to be allocated seats if it has won 5% of the nationwide vote total, meaning that in rare cases a highly regional party might win a local division’s vote quota but be unable to claim a seat. Seats allocated to parties are awarded to individual candidates in order of their individual votes, including any candidates who won a quota in their own name. Any seats allocated to divisions that are not won through these initial calculations are then pooled and allocated nationally to parties or coalitions which won 5% of the total vote nationwide to achieve a ‘levelled’ proportional distribution of seats. Terms are up to four years.

Estonia has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional president who is elected by the Riigikogu. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Peaminister (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Riigikogu. (Last updated January 2023.)

Ethiopia – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the House of People’s Representatives or Yehizb Tewekayoch Mekir Bete (Amharic), an assembly of 547 members. 525 members are elected in local single member divisions (‘constituencies’) by the plurality voting method, and 22 additional seats are reserved for representatives of minority nationalities and peoples. The party configuration of Ethiopia is a single-dominant-party system, with the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front party winning 500 of the 547 seats at the 2015 elections. Terms are up to five years. The elections due in 2020 have been deferred by the government citing the civil unrest and warfare in the nation.

Ethiopia has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional president who is directly elected by the House of People’s Representatives. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the House. (Last updated January 2023.)

Fiji – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the House of Representatives, an assembly of 51 members. The size of the assembly grows slowly with population, based on a rule that there will be one member for every 17,472 citizens. Members are not directly elected but are allocated to political parties using the open party list system of seat allocation. The nation is a single electoral division. Only parties which achieve 5% of the national vote share are eligible to be allocated seats. Terms are five years.

Fiji has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is elected by the Fijian Great Council of Chiefs. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the House of Representatives. (Last updated January 2023.)

Finland – a unicameral Eduskunta (Parliament of Finland) of which the sole house is an assembly of 200 members. Seats are allocated in proportion to population among 14 electoral divisions. One division (the island of Åland) is allocated a single seat, and a member is directly elected by the plurality method. The other 13 divisions are each allocated 6 or more members, in proportion to their populations. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. There is no minimum vote threshold for parties to be eligible for seats. Overall representation of parties in the Eduskunta is not made proportional to national vote totals by any formal mechanism. Terms are up to four years. This long-established electoral system dates from 1919.[xiii]

Finland has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional president who is directly elected. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Pääministeri (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Eduskunta. (Last updated January 2023.)

France – a bicameral Parlement of which the lower house is the Assemblée Nationale, an assembly of 577 members. 566 electoral divisions, termed circonscriptions, are divided among the 101 French Départements based on a target population (currently around 100,000 persons), and electoral law specifies that circonscription boundaries must be drawn so that variations of population between the divisions within each Département do not lead to a circonscription exceeding more than 20% the average population of the circonscription of the Département. (The most recent review of boundaries was done in advance of the 2017 elections.) An additional 11 circonscriptions are established for French citizens living overseas.

Members are directly elected in the circonscriptions by a form of the two-round runoff method – which is in practice a plurality method with an initial round of eliminations, and a capacity for transfer of voter support from eliminated or withdrawn candidates. If a candidate wins votes in the first round equal to a majority of the formal votes cast in their division, and also at least 25% of the total number of registered voters in their division, they are elected in that round. (There are rare instances of candidates winning a majority of votes in the first round but failing to achieve the second criterion where voter turnout is unusually low.) If there is no such winner, all candidates who poll in excess of 12.5% of the total number of registered voters in their division (or, if fewer than two candidates meet that condition, the two highest-placed candidates) run in a second round, which is determined by the plurality voting method. Instances where three candidates proceed to the second round are not uncommon, but bargaining between parties usually sees the tactical withdrawal of nominations between rounds.

The elections of April-May 2017 upended the traditional situation where the leading centre-left and centre right parties dominated most seats contests. As a result, the ‘centrist’ En Marche party of President Macron won a very distorted number of seats in the Assemblée. By contrast, the election of 2022 was the first in decades in which the recently-elected President’s party did not have a parliamentary majority, although the variety of parties of the left and right do not combine to form a workable majority either.

Terms are up to five years.[xiv] Since 1875, the Assemblée electoral system has seen a variety of variations of the single-member district two-round approach, but also once made use of a system of party seat allocation at the 1986 elections.[xv]

France has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised jointly by the Président (President) and also the Premier Ministre (Prime Minister). The Président is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff system, and individuals are limited to 2 terms of office. The Premier Ministre is chosen on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Assemblée Nationale. (Last updated January 2023.)

Gabon – a bicameral Parlement of which the lower house is the Assemblée nationale (National Assembly), an assembly of 120 members. The nation is divided into 9 electoral divisions based on the nation’s provinces, which are allotted numbers of seats ranging from 9 to 18. Members are elected by the ‘absolute majority vote’, the details of which are unclear even from the Parline database, but which appear to be the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method, but incorporating a two-round runoff element. Terms are 5 years.

Gabon has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a seven-year term by the two-round runoff method. (Last updated January 2023.)

Gambia – a unicameral National Assembly, an assembly of 53 members. 48 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. The remaining 5 members, including the Speaker, are appointed by the President. Terms are 5 years.

Gambia has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff method. (Last updated January 2023.)

Georgia – a unicameral Sakartvelos parlament’i (Parliament of Georgia), a composite assembly of 150 members. 30 members are directly elected in single member divisions by a hybrid plurality voting/two-round runoff system, where if the first round plurality winner falls short of 30% of the formal vote, the contest goes to a second round. The other 120 seats are not directly elected, but are allocated within 11 electoral regions to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, to parties achieving a threshold of 1% of the formal vote. Terms are 4 years.

The electoral composition of the Parlament’i has been the subject of intense civil dispute since the dominant Georgian Dream party won 75% of seats (and thus a capability to make constitutional changes) with 48% of the vote at the 2016 elections. The current system, used at elections 2020, was brokered after extensive civil unrest and international involvement. At these elections Georgian Dream again won secured 48% of the vote but this time only 60% of the seats; at the first round of voting turnout was 56%, but second round turnout was only 26% after many opposition parties called for a voting boycott.

Since 2011 the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have not voted due to their effective separation from the Georgian state.

At present Georgia has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised jointly by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method, and the Prime Minister, who is nominated by and accountable to the Parlament’i. (Last updated January 2023.)

Germany – A bicameral Bundestag (Federal Assembly) of which the lower house, also termed the Bundestag, is a composite assembly of approximately 598 members. The Bundestag system of levelling, developed in the 1950s, was the first of the mixed-member proportional electoral systems.  Voters cast votes on two distinct ballots, one for local division candidates (the Erststimmen or ‘first vote’) and one for parties nationally (the Zweitstimmen or ‘second vote’).

299 local divisions are divided proportionally among the 16 German Land (states) in proportion to population. Using the Erststimmen, members for the 299 single member divisions are directly elected by the plurality voting method.

Using the Zweitstimmen, a supplementary number of at least 299 seats are allocated to parties using the closed party list system of seat allocation in the numbers required such that the party composition of the whole assembly is proportional to the national total votes for each party. Seats are  distributed among all parties that have either won more than 5% of the total national Zweitstimmen vote, or won at least three Erststimmenlocal member divisions. (National parties representing ethnic minorities (such as the Danish community in Schleswig-Holstein or the Sorb people in Saxony) are excused from the election threshold due to the Constitutional imperative to protect such minorities. However no party representing these peoples has won seats in recent decades.) Each seat-eligible party is allocated supplementary seats proportionally using the Sainte-Laguë/Schepers method. Each party’s seat entitlement is then distributed between the Lander in proportion to the party’s national vote results in each of the Lander. (Note that this may not result in the total number of members from each Land being proportional to the populations of each land).

Depending on the configuration of parties achieving the 5% Zweitstimmen national threshold, the parties’ relative second-vote vote shares, and their numbers of Erststimmen seat wins, the rules for mathematical proportionality are capable of distorting the number of supplementary seats significantly upward from the nominal total of 299. If a party has won more local divisions in a Land than it is entitled to according to the calculation described above, the relevant seats (termed ‘overhang seats’) are nevertheless awarded to the local candidate and the total size of the Bundestag is increased to maintain the desired party proportionality. In recent elections the number of these overhang seats has risen as a result of the two largest parties receiving decreasing shares of the total party vote while continuing to win almost all the local electoral division seats. Following a 2011 constitutional court ruling that this result was unacceptable because it amounted to a breach of the principle of equality of voter influence, an electoral rule has been adopted whereby additional party list seats are created to compensate for overhang seats, so as to ensure proportionality among the parties in the Bundestag relative to each such party’s share of the total national vote. Moreover, to ensure that such additional sets do not distort the relative seat totals between the 16 Lander, these additional seats are distributed nationwide, not only in the Land in which the phenomenon is caused. In 2017 the degree of this distortion rose sharply, with the Bavarian Christian Social Union party winning all 46 local seats in Bavaria, but only around 6% of the national second-vote, while four minor parties won much larger national vote shares of between 8% and 14%. The consequence was that the number of party list seats expanded by an additional 111 (from 299 to 410), resulting in a Bundestag of a total of 709 members. In the elections of 2021 the phenomenon increased further still, generating a total of 139 additional seats and a final Bundestag of 736 members.

Finally, each party’s final supplementary entitlement of seats in each Land is awarded to specific candidates. Since individual candidates may be both nominated for a local division and also be placed on the regional party lists, seats are first ‘confirmed’ for candidates who have won local divisions in that Land, and any remaining seats are filled from other candidates on the party list.

Terms of the Bundestag are up to four years.[xvi]

Germany has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Bundespräsident, a constitutional president who is elected by a convention consisting of both houses of the Bundestag supplemented by regional legislators. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Bundeskanzler (Federal Chancellor) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the lower house Bundestag. (Last updated January 2023.)

Ghana – A unicameral Parliament, the sole house of which is an assembly of 275 members. All members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Divisions boundaries are reviewed every 7 years or following each national census. Terms are four years.

Ghana has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, subject to a division of responsibilities and powers shared with the Parliament that is formally independent of the President. The President is directly elected for a four year term by the two-round runoff system, and individuals are limited to 2 terms of office. (Last updated September 2023.)

Greece – A unicameral Vouli ton Ellinon (Parliament of the Hellenes) of which the sole house is an assembly of 300 members. Greece is divided into 56 electoral divisions based on regional administrative divisions (nomoi); the two largest nomoi, Attica and Thessaloniki, are divided into five and two divisions electoral districts respectively. The number of seats allocated to each electoral division is in proportion to population, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method, determined every ten years following census. As at 2015, 48 of the divisions are multi-member, the largest being ‘Athens B’ with 42 seats, although most have fewer than 10 seats. Eight divisions are allotted only a single seat, and in these single member divisions members are directly elected using the plurality method. Across the 48 multi-member divisions a total of 288 seats are allocated to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method, but only among parties which receive 3% of the total national vote. A complex formula then distributes the determined party seat allocations across the multi-member divisions so that the intended divisional seat totals are also met. Voters may mark their ballots with preferences for a limited number of individual candidates – between 1 and 4 depending on the number of seats allocated to their electoral division – and the individual candidate totals are used to determine the order in which seats are allocated to candidates to fill each party’s seat allocation in each division. (If early elections are held with 18 months of previous elections, the system uses closed, rather than open, party lists.) Finally, the Vouli may by law direct that up to 5% of the total number of seats are filled by seat allocation to parties from separate national closed lists, using the original party national vote totals, and they have so legislated that 12 of the seats (making up the total of 300) are filled in this manner. This final element is often used to ensure that significant national leaders or prominent individuals have a certain path in to the Vouli. Terms are up to four years.

The overall result of this complex allocation system often generates anomalous numbers of individual candidates elected within electoral divisions compared to the enrolments and the actual voting results in the division.

At elections from 2012 to 2019, 50 of the 288 seats were extracted from the proportional allocation calculations described above and set aside as a seat bonus for the party which achieved the highest national vote total. These additional seats were filled by candidates from the party’s existing lists allocated across the electoral divisions in numbers proportional to the party’s vote shares in each division – a practice which meant that total number of members of the Vouli from each division would diverge somewhat from each division’s ideal population-proportional share. Following a change to the electoral law legislated in 2016, this rule will not apply to the election scheduled for 2023, but a lesser variant of it will return for the following election. (Greek constitutional rules provide that amendments to the electoral law come into effect at the second election following their passage, unless they are approved with a 2/3 parliamentary majority.)

Greece has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional president who is elected by the Vouli. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Pro̱thypourgós (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Vouli. (Last updated January 2023.)

Guatemala – a unicameral Congreso, a composite assembly currently of 161 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. 130 seats are allocated within 23 electoral divisions based on the 22 departments of Guatemala, the capital department being subdivided into two electoral divisions. This number of seats is adjusted for each election in response to population changes. Seats are allotted to divisions in proportion to population, resulting in the two capital divisions having 11 and 19 seats, while the other departmental divisions vary in seat allotments between 1 and 10 seats. An additional 31 seats are allocated to parties on a national basis using separate party lists. Terms are 4 years.

Guatemala has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Presidente, who is directly elected for a four-year term by the two-round runoff method. (Last updated January 2023.)

Guinea – a unicameral National Assembly, a composite assembly of 114 members. 38 members are directly elected in single member divisions, based on 33 prefectures as well as five communes in the capital Conakry, by the plurality voting method. The remaining 76 members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation in a single national pool using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. Terms are 5 years.

Guinea has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a five-year term. (Last updated January 2023.)

Guinea-Bissau – a unicameral Assembleia Nacional Popular (National People’s Assembly), an assembly of 102 members. 100 members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties in 27 multi-member electoral divisions by the closed party list system of seat allocation. The final two seats are for representatives of citizens living abroad elected in two single-member divisions, one for residents of other places in Africa and the other for residents of Europe. Terms are 4 years.

Guinea-Bissau has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Presidente, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. Guinea-Bissau has an unfortunate history of political instability (the most recent military coup in 2012 seeing the constitution suspended and later reinstated) and no presidente has completed a full five-year term since independence was achieved in 1973-4. (Last updated January 2023.)

Guyana – a unicameral National Assembly of which the sole house is a composite assembly of at least 65 and up to 72 members. None of the seats are directly elected. 40 seats are filled by the closed party list system of seat allocation from national party lists using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. A further 25 seats are allocated among 10 regional divisions, and these more local positions are also filled by the same closed list system. Up to six unelected executive ministers may also be appointed by the government to sit in the Assembly, but they are non-voting members. Finally, if the Assembly wishes, a non-member may also be appointed as Speaker, but such an officer does not vote in the Assembly. Terms are five years.

Guyana has the premier-presidential system of government in which executive authority is vested in a President who is directly elected. The leader of the party winning the most votes at each Assembly election assumes the office of President for the term of the Assembly. The President however shares actual executive power with a Prime Minister drawn from the Assembly. (Last updated January 2023.)

Haiti – a bicameral Parlement of which the lower house is the Chambre des Députés (Chamber of Deputies), an assembly of 118 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the two-round runoff method. In the first round a candidate is elected if they achieve either 50% of the formal vote or a lead of 25% of the formal vote over the second-placed candidate. Terms are 4 years. Political disruption in Haiti has seen elections scheduled for 2019 delayed more than once, and are now scheduled to occur in 2023.

Haiti has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. (Last updated January 2023.)

Honduras – a unicameral Congreso Nacional, an assembly of 128 members. Seats are allotted among the 18 Honduran departments in proportion to population, with seat numbers ranging from 1 to 23. In departmental divisions allocated just 1 seat, election of members is direct by the plurality voting method. All other members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. Terms are 4 years.

Honduras has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. A president is limited to two terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Hungary – A unicameral Az Orszag Haza or Országgyűlés (National Assembly or Diet) of which the sole house is a composite assembly of 199 members. 106 seats are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. There is significant malapportionment in voter registrations across the single-member districts. A further 93 seats are not directly elected but are filled on a nationwide basis by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. For this allocation voters cast a second ballot indicating their preferred national party. Thresholds for parties to be allocated any of these 93 seats are 5% of the national vote share for single parties, 10% for two-party coalitions, and 15% for coalitions of three or more parties. (However, parties representing specified ethnic minorities (Armenian, Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Greek, Polish, Romani, Romanian, Rusyn, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, and Ukrainian) face a threshold of only 0.27% of the national vote, and the most successful such party for each ethnicity may send one non-voting spokesperson to the Országgyűlés even if they fail to achieve any allocated ordinary seats.) The actual vote tallies for each party used in the allocation of the 93 seats are the sum of each party’s second-ballot votes together with all votes cast for the party’s candidates in local electoral divisions which were (i) unsuccessful in electing a candidate, or (ii) the number of votes for successful candidates that were above the tally for each division’s second-placed candidate (ie: the margin of victory). This approach, while having some of the effect of a levelling system, does not actually guarantee a high degree of final proportionality of seats to national vote shares. In the three elections held since this system was established (2014, 2018, and 2022) the Fidesz party swept almost all the 106 local electoral division seats, and the final overall seat numbers have not been proportional to national vote shares, with Fidesz securing a total of 64% to 67% of the seats in the Országgyűlés despite national vote shares of 44%, 48% and 52%. Terms are 4 years.

Hungary has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is elected by the Országgyűlés. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Miniszterelnök (Minister-President) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Országgyűlés. (Last updated January 2023.)

Iceland – A unicameral Alþingi or Althing (General Assembly) of which the sole house is an assembly of 63 members. 54 seats are allocated among six electoral divisions, nominally in proportion to population although malapportionment has been increasing in recent elections. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties within each division by a partially open party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. The selection of successful individual candidates within each party’s final allotted number of seats in each division is determined by a partially open list process, with voters’ rankings of candidates are used to alter the candidate order of each party list in a limited manner, using a scoring system based on the Borda count method. A final 9 levelling seats are allocated to parties that win at least 5% of the national vote so as provide that final representation of each such party is as closely proportional as possible to their share of the national vote total. The 9 individual candidates appointed under this rule are drawn from existing divisional candidate lists, based on relative party performance in each division and then using the earlier individual candidate vote scores, such that each of the six electoral divisions provides either 1 or 2 of the additional members. Terms are up to four years. Iceland has very high election participation rates, typically over 85%, even though voting is voluntary.

Iceland has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Forseti, a constitutional president who is directly elected. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Forsætisráðherra (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Alþingi. (Last updated January 2023.)

India – A bicameral Bhārat kī Sansad (Parliament) of which the lower house is the Lok Sabha (House of the People), an assembly of (currently) 545 members. Up to 530 seats are allocated to single member divisions in the 28 Indian states, and up to 20 seats are allocated to single member divisions in the 7 Union Territories. At present there are 543 such divisions in total. In each state or territory some divisions are reserved to elect representatives of legally identified castes and tribes according to India’s ‘reservation’ policy for the advancement of these disadvantaged ethnic and social groups. Members are directly elected to all the divisions by the plurality voting method. Finally, 2 additional members may be nominated by the President of India from among the Anglo-Indian community if the President believes that they are not adequately represented. Terms are up to five years.

India has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional president who is directly elected by an assembly consisting of the two houses of Parliament and regional representatives. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Bharat ke Pradhan Mantri (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Lok Sabha. (Last updated January 2023.)

Indonesia – A bicameral Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat (People’s Consultative Assembly) of which the lower house is the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (People’s Representative Council, or DPR), an assembly of 575 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated in 80 electoral divisions by a partially open party list system of seat allocation, using the Sainte-Laguë formula. Electoral divisions are formed from provinces or from subdivisions of the larger provinces, and are allocated seats in proportion to population. Only parties which win 4% of the total vote nationwide are eligible to be allocated seats in any division. The party list system is ‘open list’ in the sense that voters can mark a preference for an individual candidate, and any candidate who receives more than 30% of the seat quota for their electoral division is moved to the top of the party’s list. Parties are obliged to ensure that at least 30% of the candidates on their lists are female. The voting age is 17, or lower for married individuals. Terms are up to five years.

Indonesia has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Presiden (President) subject to a division of responsibilities and powers shared with the Majelis, which is formally independent of the Presiden. The Presiden is directly elected for a five-year term by a modified two-round runoff system. Presidential nominations are restricted to the legislative political parties and nomination rights are based on parties (or combinations of parties) receiving a vote share of 25% at the previous DPR election, or by nomination of at least 20% of the current members of the DPR. Parties must put forward a ticket consisting of a presidential and a vice-presidential candidate from different provinces. If there are 3 or more presidential tickets, to win in the first round a ticket must win 50% of the vote nationally and also at least 20% of the vote in more than half of the provinces of Indonesia. Presidents are limited to 2 terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Iran – The institutions of government in Iran are more numerous and interconnected that the traditional three-branch model in use in most nations. In addition to a president and executive government, a legislature and a judiciary, Iran boasts additional institutions including the Vali-e faghih-e (Guardian Jurist, the effective head of state, known colloquially in English as the Supreme Leader), the Shora-ye Negahban-e Qanun-e Assassi (Guardian Council of the Constitution, responsible for vetting candidates for other public offices), and the Majles-e Khobregane-e Rahbari (Assembly of Experts on the Leadership, responsible for appointing the Vali-e faghih-e every 8 years).

For a legislature Iran has a unicameral Majlese Ŝourāye Melli (Islamic Consultative Assembly) an assembly of 290 members. The Shora-ye Negahban-e (Guardian Council) has the power to approve all candidates for election to the Majlese (and also the power of approval over all legislation). 285 members are directly elected to the Majlese in 196 electoral divisions which are a mix of single member and multi-member divisions. Single member divisions are filled by the plurality voting method, and multi-member divisions by the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method. However in each case a minimum of 25% of the votes cast is required for a candidate to be awarded a seat in the first round of voting. In any division where seats remain unfilled under that condition, only a number of lead candidates up to twice the number of available vacancies in the division go forward to a second round of voting, and results there require only a simple plurality. Finally, five seats are reserved for ethnic minorities, including 1 seat for each of Zoroastrians, Jews, Assyrian and Chaldean Christians, Armenian Christians in the north of the country and Armenian Christians in the south of the country. These seats are filled by direct election using the plurality rule, in what are effectively nation-wide polls. Terms are for 4 years.

The Majles-e Khobregane-e Rahbari, an assembly of around 88 islamic scholars, is also publicly elected every 8 years. Candidacy is limited to islamic jurists and scholars of at least the rank of Ayatollah. The Majles-e Khobregane-e’s primary function is to renew the appointment of the Vali-e faghih-e every 8 years, or to fill the office should it fall vacant.

Subject to the complexities of its unique multi-institutional governance arrangements, Iran may be said to have the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Ra’isjomhur (President) subject to only limited constraints from the legislature. However in practice the Vali-e faghih-eis responsible for major national and foreign policy decisions and for numerous senior government and military appointments. The President is directly elected for a four-year term by the two-round runoff system, and individuals are limited to 2 terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Iraq – A unicameral Majlis an-Nuwwāb (House of Representatives), an assembly of 329 members. The total number of members is determined by a constitutional requirement for one member for each 100,000 citizens of Iraq. 320 of the 329 seats are allocated within each of the 18 electoral divisions based on the governorates of Iraq, in proportion to the number of registered voters in each governorate; Baghdad has 70 seats (to be 69 at the 2018 elections), with the other governorates ranging from 7 to 34 seats (7 to 31 at the 2018 elections). Previously elected by a party list system of seat allocation, at the 2021 elections members were directly elected in 83 electoral districts returning between 3 and 5 members, using the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method. The final 9 seats are reserved for special election within specified governorates of representatives of specific national minorities, including five for Iraqi Christians and one each for the Yazidi, Shabak, Sabean/Mandaean and Feyli Kurd communities. Terms are four years.

Iraq has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional Rỷys (President), who is selected by the Majlis. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Rỷys Alwzrạʾ (Prime Minister), who holds office on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Majlis. (Last updated January 2023.)

Israel – A unicameral ha’kneset, or Knesset (Assembly), an assembly of 120 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated on a national basis by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula, to all parties which win 3.25% of the vote nationwide. The composition of the Knesset is therefore closely proportional as between parties, and the party configuration in Israel features many small parties. Individual members are awarded seats from closed party lists. Parties are permitted to sign apparentment agreements, giving them an advantage in seat allocation calculations. Terms are up to four years.

The electoral system of Israel, like that of the Netherlands, gives representation to a large number of parliamentary parties, may with small numbers of parliamentary members. The system is often cited by political scientists as highlighting an excessive and unwelcome diversity that can result from large-magnitude (in this case, 120-seat) seat allocation electoral systems, leading to frequent threats to – and changes of – government. The highly contested state of politics in Israel has meant that elections occurred twice in 2019, and in each of 2020, 2021 and 2022, all yielding close and unstable overall results regarding government formation.

Israel has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Nesi HaMedina, a constitutional president who is selected by the Knesset. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Rosh HaMemshala (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Knesset. (Last updated January 2023.)

Italy – A bicameral Parlamento of which the lower house is the Camera dei Deputati (Chamber of Deputies), a composite assembly of 400 members, and the equally powerful upper house is the Senato, of 200 members. Over several decades the houses have been elected by a variety of electoral systems combining seat allocation with reinforced majority mechanisms.

Following new electoral rules (known as the Rosatellum law) adopted in 2017, 36% of the members of each house is directly elected by plurality voting in single member districts, with the proviso that candidates are only eligible to win if they are members of parties which win at least 1% of the total nationwide vote, and which are also members of coalitions which win 10% of that vote (or are single parties which do so). The remaining 63% seats are not directly elected, but are filled by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. These seats are filled from single national candidate lists based on the nationwide vote share of all parties achieving at least 3% of that vote. Ballots provide for only a single vote, which constitutes both their vote for a national party list as well as a vote for that party’s candidate in the local division.

A final small number of seats are allocated to Italian citizens living abroad, divided into four electoral divisions (zones): Europe (including Russia and Turkey), South America, North and Central America, and Africa/Asia/Oceania/Antarctica – each of which elects a share of the available seats proportional to the number of citizens enrolled in each zone. Where a region has more than one seat, they are allocated proportionally according to votes cast for party lists.

Parties may on a national basis form coalitions (joint lists), which will optimise the seat allocations to the coalition members as a whole, with subsequent allocations to each member party being in proportion to their shares of the total coalition vote. Further, in counting votes to determine plurality winners of the single-member districts, the votes for coalition members are pooled, and if such a coalition in aggregate achieves the plurality of votes in the division the candidate with the most votes takes the seat. In any case, coalitions may choose to coordinate nominations so that in any local district, only one candidate appears on the ballot, endorsed by all the coalition members. (More detailed technical information on the electoral system is available from the Camera website here.)

The Senato is elected by a system essentially the same as that for the Camera, except that the number of seats is exactly half the numbers for the Camera for each of the district-elected, party-list, and overseas categories. The Italian Constitution was amended in 2020 to reduce the size of the chambers of the parliament, the Camera dropping from 630 members to 400, and the Senato from 315 to 200. The numbers of district direct-election seats, party-list-allocated seats, and overseas representatives at the 2022 elections were therefore respectively 147, 245, and 8 in the Camera, and 74, 122, and 4 in the Senato.

Whereas for the Camera all citizens of 18 years of age may vote, in Senato elections only voters aged 25 or older may vote. The Senato shares with the Camera the power to approve or disapprove of a national executive government taking office.

Italy has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional Presidente who is elected by a special joint session of the Parlamento supplemented by regional representatives. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri (President of the Council of Ministers, or prime minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in both the Camera and the Senato. (Last updated January 2023.)

Jamaica – A bicameral Parliament, of which the lower house is the House of Representatives, an assembly of 63 members. All members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Terms are five years.

Jamaica has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the King and exercised by a Governor-General. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the House of Representatives. (Last updated January 2023.)

Japan – A bicameral Kokkai (National Diet) of which the lower house is the Shūgiin (House of Representatives), a composite assembly of 465 members. Voters cast two separate ballots, one for the election of local members and another indicating support for parties to be allocated national seats. 289 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. There is significant malapportionment in the number of electors registered in these single-member divisions, with a ration of over 2:1 between largest and smallest. A further 176 members are not directly elected but seats are allocated to parties in 11 multi-member electoral divisions by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Overall representation of parties in the Shūgiin is not made proportional to national vote totals by any formal mechanism. Terms are four years.

Japan has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Tennō (Emperor). However, actual executive power is exercised by the Naikaku-sōridaijin (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Shūgiin. (Last updated January 2023.)

Jordan – A bicameral Majlis al-Umma (National Assembly) of which the lower house is the Majlis al-Nuwaab (House of Deputies), a composite assembly of 130 members. The first component of the Majlis is 115 members across 23 electoral divisions ranging in size from 3 to 9 seats. Members for these seats are not directly elected but seats are allocated to political parties by the open party list system of seat allocation. Across these divisions, 9 seats are reserved for candidates representing the Christian minority, and 3 seats are reserved for candidates representing the Chechen and Circassian minorities. The second component of the Majlis consists of 15 appointed seats reserved for women, which are filled by the unsuccessful female candidates who contested the electoral divisions who obtained the highest percentage of votes in their divisions, provided that no division obtains more than one such seat. Candidates for these first two components nominate without political party affiliation. Terms are four years.

Jordan has the dominant executive system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Mlk (King) subject to only limited constraints from the Majlis. (Last updated January 2023.)

Kazakhstan – A bicameral Parlamenti of which the lower house is the Mazhilis, a composite assembly of 107 members. 98 seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method, to all parties which win 7% of the total vote nationwide. An additional 9 members are appointed by the Assembly of Kazakhstani Nation. The party configuration in Kazakhstan is extraordinarily one-sided in favour of a coalition of governing parties supporting former long-serving President Nursultan Nazarbayev. In the elections of 2007 the pro-government coalition was officially recorded as winning 88% of the vote and, as no other party passed the 7% threshold, was awarded every seat. In response a rule was adopted that if only one party surpasses the 7% threshold, the party getting the second highest number of votes would be allocated two seats. In the 2012 election the governing party won 83 seats, and two small parties passed the threshold to claim the remaining 15 seats between them. By the elections of 2021 two opposition parties managed to secure 22 seats between them. Terms are five years.

Kazakhstan has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Prezidenti (President) subject to only limited constraints from the Parlamenti. The Prezidenti is directly elected for a five-year term. There is a nominal limit of two terms, but this limitation does not apply to the founding and current President Nursultan Nazarbayev. (Last updated January 2023.)

Kenya – A unicameral National Assembly of which the sole house is an assembly of 350 members. 290 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Each of Kenya’s 47 counties is also allocated one seat exclusively for female candidates, who are also directly elected by the plurality method. A further 12 members are nominated by the political parties represented in Parliament (in proportion to their numbers of elected members) to represent special interests, including youth, persons with disabilities, and ‘workers’. Finally the Speaker of Parliament, chosen by the Parliament, is a member ex officio. Terms are five years.

Kenya has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the President subject to only limited constraints from the Assembly. The President is directly elected for a five-year term by the plurality voting method. (Last updated January 2023.)

Kuwait – a unicameral Majles Al-Ommah (National Assembly), an assembly of up to 65 members. 50 members are directly elected to the Majles in 5 electoral districts, each electing 10 members, by the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method. The electoral law does not officially recognise political parties at elections and candidates are therefore elected as independents or as members of unofficial voting blocs, although party-like groups form in the Majles following the elections. Terms for these 50 elected members are four years.

Any Majles member who joins the governing ministry – of which at least 1 and no more than 16 may do so – steps aside from their position in the Majles and are not replaced, but individual ministers may return to their former Majles place on ceasing to be a minister.

Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy in which executive power rests with the Emir, a hereditary monarch. The emir’s semi-hereditary successor, the crown prince, is not valid until ratified by an absolute majority of the Majles. If the Emir’s nominee is not ratified then he must nominate three candidates from which the Majles choses one to be the crown prince. The Emir appoints the executive government whose ministers are subject to votes of confidence in the Majles (although ex-officio cabinet members of the Majles do not participate in such votes of confidence). (Last updated January 2023.)

Kyrgyzstan – a unicameral Žogorku Keňesh (or Jogorku Kengesh; in Kyrgyz Жогорку Кеңеш) (Supreme Council) an assembly of 80 members. 36 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. A further 54 seats are not directly elected but seats are allocated in one nation-wide division, using the open party list system of seat allocation, to all political parties which win votes equal to at least 5% of the votes cast, as well as at least 0.5% of the enrolment in each one of the seven oblasts (provinces), including the cities of Bishkek and Osh. The most successful political party is limited to receiving a maximum of 27 of the 54 proportionally allocated seats. Every list must have a minimum of 30% of candidates from each gender, and at least every fourth candidate listed must be from the minority gender on that list. Each list must also show a minimum of 15% of candidates from ethnic minorities, and 15% of candidates under 35 years old. Terms are 5 years.

Kyrgyzstan has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected. (Last updated January 2023.)

Latvia – A unicameral Saeima of which the sole house is an assembly of 100 members. Seats are allocated in proportion to population among 5 electoral divisions, in numbers ranging from 12 to 36 seats. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by the open party list system of seat allocation using the Sainte-Laguë formula, to parties that win 5% of the total vote nationwide. Preference votes may be cast for individual candidates, each of which is identified by party, with the option of marking each candidate with approval or disapproval; the net vote for each candidate is then calculated as the party list vote plus approval votes minus disapproval votes. The seats allocated to parties are then awarded to individual candidates in order of their net individual votes. Terms are up to four years.[xx]

Latvia has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional president who is selected by the Saeima. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Ministru prezidents (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Saeima. (Last updated January 2023.)

Lebanon – A unicameral Assemblée nationale or Majlis an-Nuwwab (Chamber of Deputies) (Arabic), of which the sole house is an assembly of 128 members.

From 1960 to 2009 Assemblée elections were conducted under a unique electoral system based on allocations of seats to ethnic and religions communities.

Following reforms adopted in late 2017, following a delay of 9 years since the previous election in 2009, a new Assemblée electoral system was used in the elections of 2018, and again for elections in 2022. Under the reforms, the nation is divided into 15 electoral divisions, to each of which are allocated between 5 and 13 seats in proportion to population. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to political parties within each division by the closed party list system of seat allocation. However the complex diversity of ‘religious confessional’ and ethnic groups within the nation resulted in over 60 party lists being nominated in the elections of 2022, mostly grouped into 6 broad coalitions. Terms are up to four years.

Lebanon has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional president who is elected by the Assemblée. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Assemblée. According to the National Pact of 1943, certain high political offices are also conventionally reserved for candidates of specified religions confession: for example, only a Maronite Christian holds the office of President, and only a Sunni Muslim holds the office of Prime Minister. (Last updated January 2023.)

Lesotho – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the National Assembly, a composite assembly of 120 members. Voters cast separate ballots for two components of the assembly, a local division representative and a national preferred party. 80 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. The remaining 40 members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties in a single national pool by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method, to form a levelling system which takes the single member division seats won by parties into account. No seats are allocated to parties that win more local division seats than their national proportional share would indicate. Terms are 5 years.

Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy in which executive power is nominally held by the King but in practice the system of one of representative parliamentary, in which power is exercised by a Prime Minister who holds office with the confidence of the National Assembly. (Last updated January 2023.)

Liberia – a bicameral Legislature, of which the lower house is the House of Representatives, an assembly of 73 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Divisions are allocated in proportion to population among the 15 counties of Liberia, but each county is guaranteed a minimum of two electoral divisions, resulting in a degree of malapportionment. Terms are 6 years.

Liberia has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a six-year term by the two-round runoff method. A president is limited to two terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Libya – Following the revolution of 2011 and the establishment of new institutions of government in 2012, Libya had a unicameral al-Mu’tamar al-Waanī al-‘āmm (Arabic), Agraw Aghelnaw Amatu (Berber) or General National Congress.

The Congress was a composite assembly of 200 members, first formed at the 2012 elections. 120 members were directly elected in local divisions of 1 or 2 members (based roughly on population) by the plurality voting method (for single-member divisions) or the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method (for two-member divisions). These members were required to nominate as independent of political parties. A further 80 seats were filled in 12 larger regional divisions, variously allocated between 3 and 16 members in proportion to their populations, by the closed party list system of seat allocation.[xxi]

The Congress subsequently organized new elections in June 2014. At these elections the new Majlis al-Nuwaab (Council of Deputies or House of Representatives) was elected to replace the Congress. The Majlis was also a composite assembly of 200 members. 120 members were directly elected, comprising 40 members elected in single-member electoral divisions by the plurality vote method and 80 members elected in 29 multi-member electoral divisions by the single non-transferable vote method. Separately, a further 80 seats were filled through a party list system of seat allocation. Turnout at the election was just 18%, down from 60% at the election of July 2012, and due to security issues no voting took place in some locations.

The Majlis began its operation in August 2014, but due to civil war it was forced to relocate to Tobruk and became unable to operate in a normal manner. In November 2014 the Libyan Supreme Court ruled that the June 2014 elections were unconstitutional and that the Majlis should be dissolved whilst it was being menaced by armed militias. The Majlis rejected the ruling. A minority of members of the General National Congress elected in 2012 claimed that the Congress was not correctly abolished and continues to exist, but this did not in any practical sense eventuate, nor was the proposal internationally recognized.

A UN-brokered attempt to reconcile the competing chambers broke down in January 2016. Electoral democracy has not been restored to Libya since these events, although local elections were held in 2019.

Libya nominally has a form of the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Rỷys (President) who is the Chairman of the Al-Mu’tamar ex officio. However, actual executive power is exercised by a Rỷys Alwzrạʾ (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Al-Mu’tamar. Conditions in Libya from 2014 onward have not allowed the normal exercise of executive authority over the nation. (Last updated January 2023.)

Liechtenstein – a unicameral Landtag, an assembly of 25 members. The small nation is divided into two electoral divisions, Oberland and Unterland, which are allotted 15 and 10 seats respectively. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. On their ballots, votes choose a party list, but also indicate preferences for up to as many individual candidates as there are seats available in their electoral division. A specific candidate can only be given 1 vote. For each voter, the preference votes cast for individual candidates are aggregated to constitute the total votes for each party, with any shortfall in marking of individual candidates (against the total possible of 15 or 10 votes) counted as votes generally for the party chosen by the voter as their ‘list’ party. Each voter therefore in effect casts 15 (or 10) votes for various parties, and the aggregate of all such votes is used to determine the overall party vote total within each district, when is then used for calculating the party-proportional seat allocation. Candidates within each party are then allocated seats in order of their individual preference vote totals. Unlike other party list electoral systems, the order in which candidates are listed by their parties on the ballot is therefore of no relevance in determining which candidates take seats. Parties must achieve 8% of the total national vote (across both divisions) to be eligible to be allocated seats in either division. Terms are 4 years.

Liechtenstein has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is vested in the hereditary Fürst (Sovereign Prince) (although it is currently delegated to his son the Stellvertreter des Fürsten or Regent), but in practice exercised by the Regierungschef (Head of Government, or Prime Minister) who holds office with the confidence of the Landtag. (Last updated January 2023.)

Lithuania – A unicameral Seimas of which the sole house is a composite assembly of 141 members. Seats are awarded through two separated processes, based on elections held on separate days. 71 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the two-round runoff method. Seats may be won in the initial round of voting by a candidate who wins at least 50% the votes cast, provided turnout was at least 40% of registered voters and the winner’s vote amounts to at least 20% of registered voters. If no such winner emerges in the initial round, seats are filled at a second round contested by the two highest-placed first-round candidates, decided by simple plurality, and without any turnout limit. At a separate election, held a fortnight after the initial round of voting for local divisions, 70 seats are allocated by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method, to political parties that win 5% of the total vote nationwide, or to multi-party alliance lists that win 7%. This second election is only valid if turnout exceeds 25% of registered voters. Terms are up to four years.[xxii]

Lithuania has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional Prezidentas who is directly elected. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Ministras Pirmininkas (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Seimas. (Last updated January 2023.)

Luxembourg – A unicameral D’Chamber, (Luxembourgish) (also Chambre des Députés (French) and Abgeordnetenkammer (German)), an assembly of 60 members. Seats are allocated in proportion to population among 4 electoral divisions based on the boundaries of the Cantons of Luxembourg (with seat numbers currently ranging from 7 to 23). Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by a variant form of the open party list system of seat allocation. The system used involves the panachage technique of voting for individual candidates within a party list system. Voters may cast a simple vote for one party’s list, or alternatively they may record a number of individual votes (called ‘preferences’) for individual candidates, up to the number seats available in each division. A list vote is taken to be worth a number of votes for the party equal to the number of seats available. The totals of all votes for candidates from each party is used to calculate the number of seats allocated to each party, using the Hagenbach-Bischoff quota. The ranking of candidates in order of their total personal votes is then used to allocate each party’s seats to individual candidates. There is no vote threshold for parties to be eligible to win seats. Terms are up to five years.[xxiii]

Luxembourg has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the hereditary Grand Duke. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Premier Ministre (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in D’Chamber. (Last updated January 2023.)

Madagascar – a bicameral Parlement of which the lower house is the Assemblée Nationale or Antenimieram-Pirenena (National Assembly), a composite assembly of 151 members. 87 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method, and a further 64 members are elected in 32 two-member districts by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Terms are 5 years. Madagascar has a very high rate of voting for non-registered-party and independent candidates, ihich collectively achieved 57% of the vote at the 2019 elections; however the relatively dominant Isika Rehetra Miaraka amin’i Andry Rajoelina party, despite winning only 30.9% of the vote, secured 84 of the 151 seats.

Madagascar has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected. (Last updated January 2023.)

Malawi – a unicameral National Assembly, an assembly of 193 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Terms are 5 years.

Malawi has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the plurality method. A president is limited to two consecutive terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Malaysia – A bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives), an assembly of 222 members. All members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Division boundaries are redrawn by an Election Commission every ten years based on the population (using the latest census). The divisional boundaries, most recently revised in 2018, show a significant malapportionment with rural divisions, and divisions in the states of Sarawak and Sabah, having significantly lower enrolments than average. Terms are up to five years.

Malaysia has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, a head of state elected by – and rotated between – nine Malaysian provincial royal dynasties. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Dewan Rakyat. (Last updated January 2023.)

Maldives – a unicameral Rayyithunge Majilis (People’s Majlis), an assembly of 85 members. Members are directly elected in two-member divisions for each atoll and the capital town of Male’ by the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method. The President appoints an additional 8 members to the Majlis. Terms are 5 years.

The Maldives has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. A president is limited to two terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Mali – A unicameral Assemblée Nationale of which the sole house is an assembly of 147 members. Members are directly elected in a mix of single-member and multi-member divisions, the latter having up to four members. Divisions are allocated as one seat for every 60,000 residents and an additional if the remainder of that population exceeds 40,000. In single member divisions members are elected by the two-round runoff method. In multi-member divisions members are elected by a party block voting method, in which voters select between lists for each party combined with the two-round runoff technique (that is, if no party list secures a majority in the first round of voting, the two most successful lists contest a second round). Two or more parties, as well as multiple independent candidates, are permitted to nominate a joint list of candidates within each multi-member division. Terms are five years. Turnout in Mali is very low, typically at 35% or below.

Mali has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Presidente (President) subject to only limited constraints from the Assemblée. The President is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff system. (Last updated January 2023.)

Malta – A unicameral Parlament of which the sole house is the Kamra tad-Deputati, an assembly of at least 65 members. 65 members are directly elected in 13 electoral divisions each of five members by the single transferable vote (STV) voting method. Unusually for STV systems, candidates may nominate in two electoral divisions, and if they win in both they withdraw from one victory, resulting in a by-election which, conventionally, is only contested by the relevant party’s unsuccessful candidates for that division.

In elections where only two parties win seats in the Kamer, a unique levelling mechanism is applied to ensure that final seat shares are proportional to nationwide vote share. Under this mechanism, a party which wins a plurality of votes nationally but does not achieve a majority of seats, that party is allotted additional members in the Kamra sufficient to give it a parliamentary majority of one seat, with the additional winning candidates being chosen from the party’s highest-polling candidates not already awarded a seat. For example, at the 2008 elections the Partit Nazzjonalista (PN) won the majority of votes – 49.3% – but only won 31 seats, while the Partit Laburista, with 48.8% of the votes, won 34 seats. The PN party was therefore awarded 4 additional members so as to have a 35:34 majority, bringing the total membership of the Kamra to 69 members. Conversely, the levelling rules also guarantee that the proportion of seats won by a minority party will match the proportion of primary votes won by its candidates nationally. For example in the 2013 elections the PN party had its number of members increased by 4 supplementary members, bringing the total size of the Kamer to 69, and at the 2017 election the PN will be awarded 1 supplementary member under the same rule. In 2022, 2 bonus seats were awarded to the Nationalist party, which was the minority party, to restore such proportionality.

Recently adopted (from the 2022 elections) rules requiring gender parity also provide for additional seats to be created for women, and at the 2022 election an additional 12 members were appointed (6 each for the two dominant parties), bringing the size of the Kamer to 79 members.

Finally, a Speaker may be appointed by the Kamer from outside the elected members, in which case that officer becomes an additional member of the Kamer.

Terms are up to five years. In elections from 1960 to 1995 Malta had the second highest voter turnout in the world (and the highest for nations without compulsory voting). The 2022 election saw a turnout of only 85%, very low by Maltese standards.

Malta has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is elected by the Kamra. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prim Ministru (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Kamra. (Last updated January 2023.)

Mauritania – a bicameral Barlamane (Parlement (Fr), Parliament) of which the lower house is the Al Jamiya al-Wataniyah (Assemblée Nationale, National Assembly), a composite assembly of 157 members. 113 members are directly elected in a mix of single- and multi-member electoral divisions. In single member divisions members are elected by the two-round runoff method. In two-member divisions, parties nominate a list pair of candidates which must contain one man and one woman; one parties list will won both seats either by winning 50% of the vote in the first round, or by winning a runoff round. Divisions allocated 3 or more seats are filled by the closed party list system of seat allocation, with party lists obliged to show alternating male and female candidates. A further 40 seats are also allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation; lists for these seats must again present candidates alternating by gender. A final 4 seats are elected by citizens living abroad. The current party system in Mauritania features a single dominant party. Terms are 5 years.

Mauritania has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. The most recent elections in 2014 were boycotted by most opposition parties. (Last updated January 2023.)

Mauritius – A unicameral National Assembly of which the sole house is an assembly of up to 70 members. The nation is divided into 21 electoral divisions (‘constituencies’), 20 of which elect 3 members to the National Assembly, with the last division (the separate island of Rodrigues) electing 2 members. These 62 members are directly elected in their divisions by the block voting method, with voters being able to cast up to 3 votes (2 in the Rodrigues division). There is significant malapportionment in the numbers of registered voters in each electoral division. A further number of unsuccessful constituency candidates are subsequently added to the National Assembly after each general election under a system known as ‘best loser’, which is a hybrid of a supplementary appointment system and a ‘levelling’ system. In this system, the Electoral Supervisory Commission may nominate up to a maximum of 8 additional members with a view to address any under-representation of the Hindu, Muslim, and Sino-Mauritian ethnic communities in the Assembly. Nominations will be drawn from unsuccessful candidates with the highest votes, provided they meet the community identity criteria. The party identity of these nominees must be such that these nominations as a whole do not to affect the party political balance generated among the 62 directly elected members. Terms are five years.

Mauritius has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a President elected by the National Assembly. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the National Assembly. (Last updated January 2023.)

Mexico – A bicameral Congreso General of which the lower house is the Cámara de Diputados, a composite assembly of 500 members. 300 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. An additional 200 seats are allocated in 5 regional divisions of 40 seats each, by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method, to all parties that achieve at least 2% of the national vote. To be eligible for additional allocated seats in the larger regions, a party must nominate candidates in at least 200 of the 300 electoral districts. In addition, parties are obliged to ensure that at least 50% of their candidates are female. If a party’s nominees in the 300 single-member districts do not meet that criterion, the difference can be made up on their lists for the 200 allocated seats.

The seat allocation component of the Cámara de Diputados is also subject to two unusual mathematical provisos. Firstly, the majority party’s regional seat allocations are limited so that when added to its district seats won, the party’s seat total does not exceed 300 of the total of 500 seats (this limit being raised to 315 seats for a party which wins 60% of the vote). Secondly, the seat allocation to any party is limited so that the total of district and additional seats for each party does not exceed the proportion out of 500 that it would have won had the party received a vote share 8% higher than it did, and all 500 seats had been allocated proportionally.  The second proviso does not operate to reduce seat wins for a party which has exceeded the target in the second proviso through an unusually large number of local district wins. The Cámara electoral system is a hybrid form of the ‘parallel‘ composite electoral system, but with a national seat-proportionality levelling mechanism which leads analysts such as IDEA to classify it as similar to mixed-member proportional (MMP) systems.

Terms are three years. At previous elections and for the July 2018 election sitting deputies were barred from nominating for re-election at the end of serving a three-year term (but could run again at subsequent elections). However that law has been repealed with effect from the Cámara chosen in 2018.

Mexico has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidente subject to only limited constraints from the legislature. The Presidente is directly elected for a six-year term by the plurality system, and individuals are limited to a single term of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Moldova – a unicameral Parlamentul, an assembly of 101 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated in a single national pool to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. There are thresholds for eligibility for lists to be allocated seats: 7% for coalitions of two or more parties, 5% for a single party or other contesting entity, and 2% for an individual independent candidate. Terms are 4 years.

Moldova has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is nominally held by the President, who is selected by the Parlamentul, but is in practice exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of confidence in the Parlamentul. (Last updated January 2023.)

Monaco – A unicameral Conseil National, a composite assembly of 24 members. . First, 16 members are directly elected by a form of multiple non-transferable vote (MNTV) voting. Second, the remaining 8 seats are allocated to political parties in proportion to party vote shares. Voting for both parts of the Conseil occurs through a single ballot paper, on which voters may record individual votes for up to 24 candidates. Parties will generally nominate 24 candidates. Each voter uses a pre-prepared ballot paper consisting of a list of the 24 candidates nominated by one party, but may delete names and also add names of candidates from other parties (the practice known as panachage), finishing with 24 or fewer names as they wish. The vote totals of each candidate are then tallied, and the 16 candidates with the highest personal votes each wins a seat. To this point the system therefore has the unusual character of voters casting 1.5 times as many votes as there are seats, but overall the nature of the system works identically to block voting.

The remaining 8 seats are allocated to political parties which won a minimum 5% of all votes, in proportion to the aggregate vote of all the party’s candidates, and these seats are filled by the candidates with the highest individual votes who were not already elected to the initial 16 seats. [xxvi]

Based as it is primarily on the block vote system, the election results can be highly disproportional. In 2018 the leading party won 57.7% of the vote and secured all 16 of the block-voted seats, plus 5 of 8 of the remaining vote-proportional seats, thus emerging with 21 of the 24 seats. [xxvii]

Monaco is a monarchy in which executive power is exercised by the Prince of Monaco, although the Conseil has an influential role. (Last updated January 2023.)

Mongolia – A unicameral Ulsyn Ikh Khural (Great State Assembly) of which the sole house is a composite assembly of 76 members. Members are directly elected in 26 multi-member electoral divisions of between 2 and 5 seats by the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method. Parties must ensure that a minimum of 20% of their candidates are women. The ruling Mongolian People’s Party dominates elections in the country. Terms are four years.

Mongolia has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Ulsyn Yerönkhiilögch, a constitutional President who is elected by the Khural. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Ulsyn Yerönkhii Said (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Khural. (Last updated January 2023.)

Montenegro – a unicameral Skupština (Parliament), an assembly of at least 78 and up to 82 members (depending on the number of ethnic minority seats awarded). Members are not directly elected, but 78 seats are allocated in a single national pool to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Parties must achieve a threshold of 3% of total votes to be eligible for the allocation of seats. However special rules apply to party lists representing ethnic Croat and Albanian Montenegrins that fail to achieve the 3% threshold, and such lists can be allocated up to 4 seats in total. Terms are 4 years.

Montenegro has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is shared between the Predsjednik (President), who is directly elected, and a Vlada (government) that holds office with the confidence of the Skupština. (Last updated January 2023.)

Morocco – A unicameral Majlis al-Nuwab or Assemblée des Representatants (Assembly of Representatives) of which the sole house is a composite assembly of 395 members. 305 seats are allocated in proportion to population among 92 electoral divisions which are based on the boundaries of administrative districts (regions, provinces and prefectures). Most provinces constitute 1 electoral division, but larger provinces and the city of Casablanca are subdivided. Each of these electoral districts is allocated between 2 and 6 members in the Majlis. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. A further 90 seats are similarly allocated in 12 larger electoral regions, allocated from 3 to 12 seats. The party lists in these regions must have women as their first two listed candidates, and a minimum of one third of all listed candidates must be women. Terms are up to five years.

Morocco has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Mlk (King), a constitutional monarch. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Rỷys Alwzrạʾ (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Majlis. (Last updated January 2023.)

Mozambique – A unicameral Assembleia da República (Assembly of the Republic) of which the sole house is an assembly of 250 members. 248 seats are allocated in approximate proportion to population among 11 electoral divisions based on the boundaries of provinces. Most provinces are allocated between 12 and 22 seats, but the largest province has 50 seats. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula, to parties which win at least 5% of the national total vote. In addition, one member is elected by enrolled citizens residing elsewhere in Africa, and one member is elected by enrolled citizens residing in Europe, both by the plurality method. Terms are five years.

Mozambique has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidente subject to only limited constraints from the assembly. The Presidente is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff system. (Last updated January 2023.)

Myanmar – A bicameral Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Assembly of the Union) of which the lower house is the Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives), a composite assembly of 440 members. Myanmar is divided into 330 electoral divisions, allocated among the 7 central Regions and the 7 ethnic minority States of Myanmar. Members are directly elected in these single member divisions by the plurality voting method. An additional 110 seats are allocated to armed forces nominees. Terms are up to five years.

Myanmar has for many years been a one-party-dominant state, and the governing Union Solidarity and Development Party won around 60% of the vote in the most recent election in 2010, the integrity of which is disputed. In recent years other political parties have been permitted to contest elections. General elections in November 2015 were the first in decades to be held in reasonably competitive circumstances. However the placement of military representatives – generally allied with the ruling party – in 25 % of the seats in Pyithu Hluttaw means that any opposition political force must win over 2/3rds of contested seats to achieve a majority, and also forms a solid barrier to any constitutional change, which requires the approval of 75% of the Pyithu Hluttaw members.

Elections were also held in 2020. In both the 2015 and 2020 elections the National League for Democracy party had overwhelming success in the elected seats, winning 255 and then 258 of the 330 elected seats, respectively.

Myanmar has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President subject to limited constraints from the legislature. The President is selected for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of selected parliamentarians from the Amyotha Hluttaw (House of nationalities), the Pyithu Hluttaw and the military-appointed MPs. The military are entitled to appoint key ministers in the government responsible for defence, national security and police.

However, in 2021 a military coup took place in Myanmar, and there are no immediate prospects for the restoration of democracy and the elected institutions outlined above are suspended. (Last updated January 2023.)

Namibia – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the National Assembly, an assembly of 104 members. 96 seats are allocated among 13 electoral divisions (rising to 14 at the next elections). Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. The dominant SWAPO party has recently adopted a practice that 50% of its nominated members of the Assembly are female. An additional 8 non-voting members are appointed by the President. Terms are five years.

Namibia has the presidential system of government, in which executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is directly elected for five year terms by the two-round runoff method for a maximum of two terms. The President appoints a Prime Minister and cabinet. (Last updated January 2023.)

Nauru – A unicameral Parliament of which the sole house is an assembly of 19 members. The nation is divided into 8 electoral divisions, one of which elects 4 members, one elects 3, and the remaining 6 each elect 2 members. Members are directly elected to these divisions by the Dowdall system, a cumulative voting method using a ‘descending fractions’ formula. Ballots are filled out in ranked (preferential) order, and full preferencing of all candidates is required for a ballot to be valid. Each 1st preference vote scores the candidate 1 vote. Each second preference vote scores the candidate an additional 0.50 votes, each 3rd preference 0.333 votes, each 4th preference 0.25 votes, and so on in a decreasing series of integer fractions. Seats are awarded to the candidates with the highest total vote scores in their division. Terms are three years. Political parties are not prominent in Nauruan politics, with almost all MPs nominally being independents, and governments are formed and maintained through non-party personal associations between leaders and MPs.

Nauru has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which executive authority is vested in the President, a joint head of state and head of government who is elected by the Parliament and holds office on the basis of the continuing confidence of the Parliament. (Last updated January 2023.)

Nepal – a bicameral Sansad (Legislature, or Parliament), of which the lower house is the House of Representatives, a composite assembly of 275 members.

165 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. A further 110 seats are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the Sainte-Laguë formula, to parties which achieve a threshold of 3% of the national party list vote. Voters cast seperate ballots for local members and for the party seat allocation. Parties present candidate lists (which may be done after seat allocation numbers are determined, post-poll) which must comprise 50% each male and female individuals. Terms are 4 years, although elections have not kept to regular schedule in the past decade.

Nepal has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is vested in the President, who is appointed for a 5-year term by the Sansad, and exercised by the Prime Minister, who holds office on the basis of support in the Sansad. (Last updated January 2023.)

Netherlands – A bicameral States-General of which the lower house is the Tweede Kamer (‘second chamber’), an assembly of 150 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to political parties on a national basis by the open party list system of seat allocation. Parties lodge lists of nominees in each of 18 electoral divisions six weeks in advance of the election. The lists are limited in number to a national total of 80 nominees for parties that held at least 15 members in the previous Kamer, or 50 nominees for other parties. Voters submit a ballot for their chosen party, and on that ballot they may directly vote for one candidate from those listed by the party (which party lists may differ in each of the 19 Dutch provinces). Parties receive one assured seat for each kiesdeler (quota) – equal to 1/150th (0.67%) of the national vote – that is won by their party nationwide. The remaining seats are allocated to parties using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Prior to the election parties may agree to combine their vote totals through a form of apparentment (termed lijstencombinatie or‘list combination’). The seats won by such a party combination are allocated proportionally among the parties within the combination by the largest remainder method. When determining the individual candidates to be awarded each party’s allotted seats, the total number of seats won according to the national calculation are allocated between the electoral division lists submitted in each of the electoral divisions in proportion (by the largest remainder formula) to the number of party votes received in each division. This calculation yields a number of seats for each party in each electoral division. Individual candidates – typically including national party leaders – may have been listed in multiple electoral divisions. Any candidates who receive individual votes (in total across all divisional lists on which they were nominated) equal to 25% of the national kiesdeler (that is, 0.1675% of the national total of votes) are given preference in the award of each party’s allotted seats. Individual candidates who nominally win seats in two or more divisions will be allocated a seat in the division in which they won the most votes. After such seats are awarded the remaining places are filled in each division’s party list order. Subsequent casual vacancies are filled by the next listed candidate in the division in which the departing member was awarded a seat. Terms are up to four years.[xxviii]

The Netherlands has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Koning (King). However, actual executive power is exercised by the Ministeraad (Council of Ministers) led by its Minister-President (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Kamer. (Last updated January 2023.)

New Zealand – A unicameral Parliament of which the sole house is the House of Representatives, a composite assembly of at least 120 members. Voters cast two separate ballots, one for candidates nominated in 70 local single member divisions (‘constituencies’) and a separate ballot for political parties, the latter being used to allocate a further 50 seats on the basis of the parties’ national vote totals. The 70 local divisions are divided into ordinary constituencies and Maori constituencies. Individual voters of Maori ethnicity are entitled to enrol to vote in either form of constituency, but not both, and must register their choice between the two forms of voting in advance of the elections. The number of seats (out of 70) allocated to the Maori voting pool – currently 7 – is determined by the proportion of total voters which register as Maori seat voters. A set of boundaries for the Maori constituencies are determined separate from (and overlaying) the boundaries of the ordinary constituencies. Members for all the 70 single member divisions are directly elected by the plurality voting method. A further number of at least 50 members are allocated to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the Sainte-Laguë formula, in the numbers required such that the party composition of the whole assembly is ‘levelled‘, or made party-proportional overall. The national party vote totals are used to calculate a proportional share of a nominal total of 120 seats for each party which wins more that 5% of the national vote. If a party has won more local constituencies than it is entitled to according to the national calculation, such ‘overhang’ seats are nevertheless awarded to the elected local member and the total size of the House is increased accordingly (for example, the 2014 election resulted in a House of 121 members). Terms are up to three years.

New Zealand has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the King and exercised by a Governor-General. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the House of Representatives. (Last updated January 2023.)

Nicaragua – a unicameral Asamblea Nacional, an assembly of 92 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties (or coalitions of parties) by the closed party list system of seat allocation. 70 seats are allocated in electoral divisions based on the nation’s 17 departments and autonomous regions, in numbers ranging between 2 and 19 seats in proportion to population, while the remaining 20 seats are allocated in a single national pool. The final two seats are filled by the person who served the immediate past term as president (or, if that person is in fact the current president, the most recent vice-president) and the runner-up in the most recent presidential election. Terms are 5 years.

Nicaragua has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Presidente, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. While the national constitution prohibits consecutive terms of office as president by an individual, in 2009 president Daniel Ortega challenged that ban and was supported by the nation’s Supreme Court and Supreme Electoral Council, allowing him consecutive re-elections. (Last updated January 2023.)

Niger – a unicameral Assemblée Nationale, an assembly of 171 members. 158 seats are allocated to 8 electoral divisions based on Niger’s 7 regions together with the district of the capital Niamey. These seats are not directly elected, but are allocated by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula, to parties that win at least 5% of the formal vote. A further 8 seats are reserved for representatives of national minorities, directly elected in single-member regional electoral divisions by the plurality method. A final 5 seats to represent Nigerians living overseas are also directly elected from single-member constituencies to, with one constituency for each continent. Terms are 5 years.

Niger has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised jointly by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method, and the Prime Minister, who is nominated by and accountable to the Assemblée. (Last updated January 2023.)

Nigeria – A bicameral National Assembly of which the lower house is the House of Representatives, an assembly of 360 members. The 360 divisions (‘constituencies’) are allocated among the 36 Nigerian states and the federal capital territory in proportion to population. All members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Terms are up to four years.

Nigeria has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President subject to a division of responsibilities and powers shared with the National Assembly, which is formally independent of the President. The President is directly elected for a four-year term by a two-round runoff system. Nominations for election as President are by convention limited in each alternate terms of office to (a) candidates from the Christian south of the nation and (b) candidates from the Muslim north. To be elected in the first round a candidate must receive both a plurality of votes nationally and also at least 25% of the votes in at least 25 of the 36 Nigerian states and the Federal Capital Territory. If no candidate satisfies this requirement, a second round of voting takes place between the two leading candidates. Presidents are limited to 2 terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

North Macedonia (formerly the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, present name adopted in 2019) – a unicameral Sobranie (Assembly), an assembly of 120 members, with possible additional seats. The nation is divided into 6 electoral divisions each of which is allocated 20 seats. In these divisions members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. At least 30% of list candidates must be of each gender. Additional members of the Sobranie can be appointed to represent citizens resident abroad in specific circumstances. Terms are 4 years.

North Macedonia has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is vested in the President, who is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff method. However in practice executive power is exercised by the Premier and government that holds office with the confidence the Sobranie. (Last updated January 2023.)

Norway – A unicameral Storting (Great Assembly) of which the sole house is an assembly of 169 members. 150 seats are allocated among 19 electoral divisions that are based on the fylker (counties) of Norway. The seat allotment among the divisions is highly unusual in that it utilises a deliberate land area factor, with seats allotted by quotients based on an aggregate of both population (1 point per person) and land area (1.8 points per square kilometre). Compared to a population-only approach, this malapportionment at present has the effect of depriving the small-area divisions of Oslo and neighbouring Akershus of 2 seats each, granting 2-3 seats to far northern Finnmark, and otherwise altering divisional seat allotments by only 1 or 0 seats.

Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties within each electoral division by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the modified Sainte-Laguë formula (i.e.: the first divisor used in the formula is 1.4, not 1). There is no minimum vote threshold for parties to be eligible for these primary seats. A further 19 levelling seats are allocated to parties which win at least 4% of the national vote so that the final representation of each such party is as proportional as possible to their share of the total national vote. These levelling seats are allocated to individuals so that one candidate is drawn from each of the 19 counties.

Seats are finally allocated to individual listed candidates once each party’s allotment of seats in each electoral division has been determined. While the system is nominally an ‘open’ list one, in practice voters are presented with party ballot papers presenting the party’s candidates in a numbered order, on which each voter may mark any preferred renumbering, but no change to the order is effective unless at least 50% of a party’s voters in a division mark an increase in an individual candidates ranking, and according to a Norwegian government description of this system such a re-ordering of a party’s candidate order “never happens”.

Terms are up to four years, and the Norwegian Constitution makes no provision for early elections.

Norway has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Konge (King). However, actual executive power is exercised by the Statsminister (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Storting. (Last updated January 2023.)

Pakistan – A bicameral Majlis-e Šūrá (Parliament) of which the lower house is the Qaumī Asimbli’e (National Assembly), a composite assembly of 342 members. 272 seats are filled by members directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. An additional 60 seats are reserved for female members and 10 seats are reserved for non-muslim religious minorities. These latter 70 members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated from single national candidate lists by the closed party list system of seat allocation to parties winning at least 5% of total national votes, although (unusually) with the proportions based on the shares of seats won in the SMD divisions, not on the national vote shares. Terms are five years.

Pakistan has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Sadr-e-Mumlikat, a constitutional president who is elected by an electoral college consisting of the national and regional assembly members. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Wazir-e- Azam (Grand Minister, or Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Majlis. (Last updated January 2023.)

Panama – A unicameral Asamblea Nacional (National Assembly) of which the sole house is a semi-composite assembly of 71 members. Seats are allocated in approximate proportion to population among 39 electoral divisions which are based on the boundaries of administrative districts. Each division is allocated one seat for every 30,000 people in its population and a further seat for a remainder over 10,000 people. Divisions which are allotted a single member (currently 26 divisions in rural areas) elect those members directly by the plurality voting method. In multi-member divisions (currently comprising 13 divisions in town and city areas which are allocated between 2 and 7 seats) members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation. The quota formula used is unusual, with seats available first being allocated using a simple quota to parties which achieve whole quotas, then further seats are allocated to parties which achieve (or have as remainders) at least half a quota, and finally any remaining seats are allotted according to the largest unused remainders. Terms are five years.

Panama has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidente subject to only limited constraints from the Asamblea. The Presidente is directly elected for a five-year term by the plurality voting system. (Last updated January 2023.)

Papua New Guinea – A unicameral Parliament of which the sole house is the House of Assembly, a composite assembly of 118 members. 96 of the members are directly elected in single member divisions by the limited vote preferential voting method. Voters may mark up to three preferences on their ballots, which are then counted by sequential elimination. As PNG elections feature a wide array of parties and numerous independent candidates, election of candidates with below 50% of the formal vote total after the distribution of third preferences occurs frequently (a situation which was even more common while plurality voting was used from 1977 to 2002). In addition, in each of the 22 provinces and special territories of PNG, regional executive governors are directly elected by the same limited vote method as is used for the 96 local divisions, and on the same polling day. Each governor also takes a seat in the Parliament as a regional representative. Terms are up to five years.

Papua New Guinea has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the King and exercised by a Governor-General. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the House. (Last updated January 2023.)

Paraguay – a bicameral Congreso Nacional of which the lower house is the Cámara de Diputados (Chamber of Deputies), an assembly of 80 members. The nation is divided into 18 electoral divisions based on the 17 administrative regions and the capital district. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Terms are 5 years.

Paraguay has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. (Last updated January 2023.)

Peru – A unicameral Congreso (Congress) of which the sole house is an assembly of 130 members. The nation is divided into electoral divisions based on Peru’s administrative districts (‘departments’), with seats allocated to each division in proportion to population. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties in each division by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. The division of Lima is currently allocated 36 deputies, and the other divisions allocated between 2 and 7 seats each, except Madre de Dios which has 1 seat, and is therefore in effect a single-member plurality division. To be eligible to be allocated any seats, parties must win either (i) seven seats in at least one electoral division (obviously only realistic in the Lima division), or (ii) 5% of the vote nationwide. Terms are five years.

Peru has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidente subject to only limited constraints from the Congreso. The Presidente is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff preferential voting system. An incumbent Presidente may not run for immediate re-election, and individuals are limited to 2 terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Philippines – A bicameral Congress of which the lower house is the Kapulungan ng mga Kinatawan or Camara de Representantes (House of Representatives), a composite assembly of (currently) 316 members. Voters cast two separate ballots, one for candidates nominated in 253 single member divisions (‘constituencies’) and one for ‘sectoral representatives’. The Constitution requires that the latter group comprise 20% of the total membership of the Camara (currently 63 seats). Members are directly elected to the 253 single member divisions by the plurality voting method. For the sectoral representatives, under-represented communities are identified by legislation and specifically include labour, peasants, urban poor, indigenous cultures, women, youth, and others, but may not including communities defined by religion. These communities are encouraged to participate via numerous special political parties, and the major national parties are not permitted to nominate for sectoral representative seats (but campaign coalitions occur in practice). One sectoral seat is allocated to each special party which wins 2% of the vote nationwide, using the D’Hondt divisor formula, with an additional seat for every further 2% of the vote, subject to a limit of 3 sectoral seats per party. If the number of sectoral representatives so elected does not total the required number of representatives (currently 63), sectoral parties winning less than 2% of the vote are awarded one seat each in descending order of their vote until that number is reached. These seats are filled with individual nominees from closed party lists. Terms are for three years.

The Philippines has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Pangulo (President) subject to a division of responsibilities and powers shared with the Congress, which is formally independent of the President. The President is directly elected for a six-year term by the plurality system, and individuals are limited to a single term of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Poland – A bicameral Zgromadzenie Narodowe (National Assembly) of which the lower house is the Sejm, an assembly of 460 members. Between 7 and 19 seats are allocated to each of 41 electoral divisions in proportion to each division’s population. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by the open party list system of seat allocation (using the modified Sainte-Laguë method) to all individual parties which win 5% of the vote nationwide, and all coalitions of parties which win 8% nationwide (although candidates from ethnic-minority parties are exempt from these thresholds). Candidate lists must contain a minimum 35% candidates of each gender. Overall representation of parties in the Sejm is not made proportional to national vote totals by any formal mechanism. Terms are for four years.[xxix]

Poland has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional Prezydent who is directly elected. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Rady Ministrów (Council of Ministers) led by its Prezes (President, or Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Sejm. (Last updated January 2023.)

Portugal – A unicameral Assembleia da República of which the sole house is an assembly of 230 members. There are 22 electoral divisions including the 18 mainland districts of Portugal, the two island communities of the Azores and the Madeiras, a division for Portuguese citizens resident in the rest of Europe, and finally a division for Portuguese citizens resident in the rest of the world. The 2 divisions for citizen resident abroad are allocated 2 seats each, and all other divisions are allocated a number of seats (ranging from 2 to 47) in proportion to their population. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. There is no minimum vote threshold for parties to be eligible for seats. Overall representation of parties in the Assembleia is not made proportional to national vote totals by any formal mechanism. Terms are up to four years.[xxx]

Portugal has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional Presidente who is directly elected by the two-round runoff system. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Primeiro-Ministro (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Assembleia. The Presidente has discretionary powers to dismiss a government and call elections even if that government is supported by the Assembleia. (Last updated January 2023.)

Romania – A bicameral Parlamentul of which the lower house is the Camera Deputaţilor, (Chamber of Deputies) a composite assembly of (currently) 330 members. The nation is divided into 43 regional electoral divisions, 41 of which are based on county boundaries, with the capital Bucharest being an electoral division, and a category of overseas electors constituting a final electoral division allotted four seats. Each regional division is allotted one seat for every 73,000 inhabitants, subject to a minimum allotment of four seats. Each regional division is further divided into a number of local electoral divisions (called ‘electoral colleges’) equal to that region’s allotted number of seats. The aggregate of the most recent seat allotments (for the 2020 election) was 330 seats in total. All candidates nominate personally in the local ‘college’ divisions, but the resulting allocation of seats is a blend of single-member division victories and a seat allocation process.

Votes are initially tallied for each local electoral college division, and each candidate who wins 50% of the vote in a college takes that seat. All votes are then pooled within each regional division according to the party of each candidate, and any seats not won on the initial count are allocated within the regional divisions by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula, to parties which win any of: 5% of the total national vote (for coalitions of parties, higher thresholds of 8% to 10% applied), 20% of the vote in at least four regional electoral divisions, or 6 local college seats in the Camera as well as 3 such seats in the Senat (the upper house of the Parlamentul, which has a substantially identical electoral system except with a lower number of seats). The regional division party lists are in fact the lists of candidates nominated in the local college divisions (ordered as the party wishes), so another way of understanding the system is that in each regional division, any majority winners in the local colleges take up the first places allotted to their party under the seat allocation process, prior to resorting to the party list order to award any remaining seats. In the case of a party’s candidates winning more local seats than their party-list allocation within a given region, seats won under either method are retained, resulting in additional ‘overhang seats’, similar to the German Bundestag system.

Finally, one additional seat is awarded to the nominee of the citizens organisation of any of 19 recognised ethnic minorities if that minority is otherwise unrepresented in the Camera but achieves a threshold of 10% of the votes needed to obtain a regular seat. (As of the 2020 elections there are 18 such seats). Terms are for four years.

Romania has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised jointly by the Preşedintele (President) and also the Prim-ministru (Prime Minister). The President is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff system, and individuals are limited to 2 terms of office. The Prime Minister is chosen by the Preşedintele, but the government and its program must secure the approval of a joint sitting of both houses of the Parlamentul before taking office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Russia – A bicameral Federalnoye Sobraniye (Federal Assembly) of which the lower house is the Gosudarstvennaya Duma (State Duma), a composite assembly of 450 members. 225 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. The remaining 225 members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated on a national basis by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method, to all parties which win at least 7% of the vote nationwide. Once each party’s seat allotment is determined the party then appoints individual deputies to fill its seats.  Terms are five years. Elections in Russia are distorted by extensive official and media favouring of the long-governing United Russia party, which secured around 75% of the seats at the 2021 elections.

At the elections from 1993 to 2003 the Duma was also a composite assembly, with half the seats directly elected and half filled by seat allocation. However at the elections of 2007 and 2011 the entire 450 seats in the Duma were filled by party-proportional seat allocation.

Russia has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised jointly by the Prezident (President) and also the Premʹer-ministr (Prime Minister). The President is directly elected for a 6-year term by the two-round runoff system. Since the year 2000 President Vladimir Putin has been elected to two 4-year terms (2000 and 2004), then served as Prime Minister for a term in 2008-12, then was re-elected to what had become 6-year terms in 2012 and 2018. The former rule against serving as President for more that two consecutive terms was abolished in 2020. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Duma. (Last updated January 2023.)

Rwanda – a bicameral Parlement of which the lower house is the Chambre des Députés (Chamber of Deputies), an assembly of 80 members. 53 members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties which achieve at least 5% of the vote by the closed party list system of seat allocation in one national pool, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. A further 24 seats are filled by female candidates chosen by electoral colleges in each province and the city of Kigali; of the four provinces, three are allotted 6 seats such seats, the final province 4 seats, and Kigali 2 seats. The final three seats are filled by nominees of the National Youth Council (2 seats) and the Federation of the Associations of the Disabled (1 seat). Terms are 5 years.

Rwanda has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a seven-year term by the two-round runoff method. (Last updated January 2023.)

San Marino – a unicameral Consiglio Grande e Generale (Grand and General Council), an assembly of 60 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Parties may run as coalitions, in which case their number of seats is first allocated to the coalition as a whole on the basis of the total votes for all the coalition’s members, and then sub-allocated to the member parties of the coalition using the D’Hondt formula again. Individual parties must achieve the vote share threshold, which is calculated by multiplying the number of parties running in the elections by 0.4, up to a maximum of 3.5%, to be eligible to be allocated any seats, and a party with a vote below this threshold is not allocated any seats even if it is a member of a coalition which is allocated seats. If no party receives a majority, or the two largest parties are unable to form a coalition government within thirty days of the elections, a runoff election will be held between the two most popular coalitions, using nominally the same seat allocation rules, but with the modification that the coalition winning the plurality of votes receives a minimum of 35 seats even if its initial allocation was a lesser number, and if necessary the seat allocations to parties of the losing coalition are adjusted downward in proportion to one another so as to total 25 seats. Terms are 5 years.

San Marino has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is exercised jointly by two Capitani Reggenti (Captains Regent), who are directly appointed by the Consiglio for terms of 6 months. (Last updated January 2023.)

Senegal – A unicameral Assembleé nationale (National Assembly) of which the sole house is a composite assembly of 165 members. 112 seats are allocated among 35 electoral divisions based on 34 administrative districts (‘departments’), together with a 15-seat division for representing citizens living outside of Senegal. These divisions are a mix of single member and multi-member divisions in proportion to population, with the largest multi-member divisions currently having 5 seats. Members (‘deputies’) are directly elected by either the plurality voting method (in single-member divisions) or by party block voting (in multi-member divisions). A further 53 seats are not directly elected, but are allocated to parties on the basis of national lists by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. Voters cast a single ballot indicating their preferred political party for the purpose of electing both components of the Assembleé. Terms are up to four years.

Senegal has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidente (President) subject to only limited constraints from the Assembleé. The President is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff system. (Last updated January 2023.)

Serbia – A unicameral Narodna Skupština (National Assembly) of which the sole house is an assembly of 250 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated on a national basis by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula, to parties which win at least 3% of the total vote (although lists submitted by ethnic minority parties are exempted form this threshold). Terms are four years.

Serbia has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is directly elected for a four-year term by the two-round runoff system, and individuals are limited to two terms of office. However, primary executive power is exercised by the Premijer (Prime Minister), nominated by the President on the basis of the confidence of a majority in the Narodna Skupština. (Last updated January 2023.)

Seychelles – a unicameral National Assembly, a composite assembly of 35 members. 26 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. The remaining 9 members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using a modified Niemeyer method in which parties which fail to achieve at least one quota (10%) of the total vote are not eligible to be allocated seats. Terms are 5 years.

The Seychelles has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected. (Last updated January 2023.)

Sierra Leone – a unicameral Parliament, an assembly of 146 members. 132 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Divisional boundaries are drawn based on population. Members in office who disown affiliation with the party under whose name they were elected must resign from Parliament. The remaining 14 seats in Parliament are filled by Paramount Chiefs selected by electoral colleges to represent each of the nation’s provincial districts. Terms are 5 years.

Sierra Leone has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff method, with the proviso that to win in the first round a candidate must achieve 55% of the vote. A president is limited to two terms of office. (Last updated January 2023,)

Singapore – A unicameral Parliament, the sole house of which is known by the same title, an assembly of up to 99 members. Singapore’s electoral division map is made up of a mix of single-member electoral divisions and ‘group representation’ multi-member electoral divisions. As at the 2020 election this includes 14 single member divisions and 17 group representation divisions, electing 93 members in total. The members in the 14 single member divisions are directly elected by the plurality voting method. In the 17 group representation divisions either 4 or 5 members are elected, in all totalling (as at the 2020 elections) 79 members. Election to these divisions is by the block vote method; in each multi-member division a list of members from a single party’s ticket is elected together, with the successful party chosen by the plurality voting method. A ticket for a group representation division must include at least one candidate from an ethnic minority specified for that division. The executive government determines the boundaries of divisions, which divisions are single-member and which are multi-member divisions, the number of members elected in each multi-member division, and the specific ethnic minorities that must be nominated on the ticket for each group representation division. As Singapore has a very dominant leading party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), these plurality rule arrangements allow PAP to dominate Singapore’s election results. In the 2020 election, the PAP recorded 61% of the vote, with two significant opposition parties recording 11% and 10%. In practice, opposition parties coordinate so that only one of them contests each electoral division in almost all cases (which inherently reduces voter choice of representation). Even with such coordination, in 2020 opposition parties won around 30% of the vote in total, but prevailed in just 3 of the 31 electoral districts, winning a total of 10 seats out of 93. Voter turnout in Singaporean elections is very high, reaching 95% in 2020.

In addition to the elected members, up to 12 ‘non-constituency’ members may be appointed to the Parliament to provide some representation of members from political parties not forming the government, the rule being a concession strong one-party-dominance system. The number of members to be appointed is determined after the number of elected non-government members is known, and the available places are filled from among candidates not from the governing party who polled at least 15% of the vote in their electoral division, in descending order of their vote shares in their constituencies.

Finally, up to 9 further unelected ‘nominated members’ may also be appointed to Parliament after the election. A select committee of Parliament invites nominations from the public and makes recommendations for appointment under this system, generally from civic or professional persons not active in party politics who have ‘rendered distinguished service’ to the nation or ‘distinguished themselves’ in their field of expertise.

Terms for ordinary and non-constituency members are up to 5 years. Terms for nominated members are limited to 2½ years.

Singapore has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is directly elected. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Parliament. (Last updated January 2023.)

Slovakia – A unicameral Národná rada (National Council) of which the sole house is an assembly of 150 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated by a partially open party list system of seat allocation (using the Hagenbach-Bischoff/D’Hondt formula) to parties which win at least 5% of the total vote. There is one national list for each party, and the nation votes as a single electoral division. The allocation of seats to individual candidates allows some influence to voters, who may mark preferences for up to four candidates from the party list. All candidates who receive individual votes equal to 3% of the total for that party list is moved, in order of their votes received, to the top of that list. After such candidates are awarded seats the remaining places are filled in the party list order. Terms are four years.[xxxiii]

Slovakia has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional president who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Predseda vlády (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Národná rada. (Last updated January 2023.)

Slovenia – A bicameral Parlament of which the lower house is the Državni Zbor (National Assembly), an assembly of 90 members. (The upper house, the Državni svet (National Council), is limited to advisory roles only, and on this basis the Parlament is often classed as a unicameral one consisting only of the Državni Zbor). 88 of the members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated in eight 11-member divisions (with boundaries determined to attempt to equalise the division populations) by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method, to parties which win at least 4% of the total vote. One seat is awarded in each division for each whole quota a party secures. Any seats unfilled are pooled nationally and allocated to parties to best achieve national proportionality by applying the D’Hondt formula to party national vote shares, with seat winners chosen among the highest-preferred unsuccessful divisional candidates. Party lists must present a minimum of 35% candidates of each gender. Voters may indicate a preferred individual candidate within the party they support, and seats are allocated to individuals in order of such preference votes. An additional 2 members are elected by voters of each of the Italian and Hungarian national minorities using the Borda count voting method (although in the 2014 elections only one candidate nominated for each of these seats). Terms are four years. [xxxiv]

Slovenia has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Predsednik, a constitutional president who is directly elected. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Vlada (Government) headed by the Premier (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Državni Zbor. (Last updated January 2023.)

Solomon Islands – a unicameral National Parliament, an assembly of 50 members.  Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Terms are 4 years.

The Solomon Islands has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister who holds office on the confidence of the Parliament. (Last updated January 2023.)

Somalia – Somalia’s political institutions, and even its unity as a nation, have only recently begun to be restored after civil war and disorder afflicted the people of the nation from 1991 to 2012. The new constitution of the post-2012 political reconstruction officially sees Somalia consisting of six federated states. However two northern states, each representing around a third of the nation’s total population, assert significant degrees of independence. The north-western ‘state’ of Somaliland claims full independence as a nation state, although it has received very little international recognition, and has reached a pragmatic accommodation with the national government. The north-eastern state of Puntland accepts participation in the federation, but claims a range of autonomous political powers. Somalia remains a tribally divided nation, and after decades of disorder levels of literacy, education and openness of public debate are only beginning to return to a condition capable of supporting normal democratic and electoral process.

In any case as of 2012 the federation has a bicameral Federal Parliament (Golaha Shacabka, or Baarlamaanka Federaalka), of which the lower house is the House of the People, an indirectly elected assembly of 275 members. The nation is divided into 275 electoral districts, but in these divisions members are not directly elected. A number of key tribal elders are given responsibility for nominating 51 electors for each electoral district, each of which forms an electoral college with the task of selecting the parliamentary representative for the people of the district. A minimum of 30% of the seats are reserved for female representatives, according to rules under which each of the four largest national ethnic clans (Hawiye, Darod, Dir, and Rahaweyn) must provide at least 18 female members, while the remaining ’others’ ethnic category must provide at least 9 female members. Terms are four years.

The most recent elections were to be conducted in September and October 2021, but were not concluded until April 2022, although only 250 of the intended 275 members were actually sworn in. Somaliland does not send representatives.

Somalia has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive authority is nominally vested in a constitutional President who is selected by the Parliament. Presidents may serve no more than two four-year terms. The President then appoints a Prime Minister and ministry who in practice exercise the executive authority. (Last updated January 2023.)

South Africa – A bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the National Assembly, a composite assembly of 400 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each of the 9 South African provinces and also nationally by the closed party list system of seat allocation. Seat numbers for each of the provinces range from 4 to 43, based on population, totalling 200. Each voter casts a single vote for one party, which it used to determine each party’s national total of seats, and also the seats allocated from provincial party lists. The primary basis for allocating the assembly’s full number of 400 seats to the parties is the national vote total. There is no vote threshold for party eligibility to win seats; for example, a party with 0.2% of the national total vote won 1 seat in the 2009 election.

The specific formula for allocating seats is a hybrid method in which seats are first allocated to each party according to the number of whole Droop quotas won by each party. Thereafter up to five seats are allocated using the largest remainder method (based on the application of the initial Droop quota). Finally, any remaining seats are allocated among parties that have won at least 1 seat in the counting to that point, using the D’Hondt formula. Once the total seat entitlements for each party are determined, the seats are then allocated to either the national party lists or the provincial party lists depending on how many parties have chosen to submit either or both of provincial lists and national lists for the election. A maximum of half the members (currently 200 of the 400 seat assembly) may be drawn from national lists. If all parties submit national lists then 200 members will be drawn from the national party lists and 200 from the provincial party lists. If no party submits a national list then all members will be drawn from provincial party lists. (For example, in the 2009 election one party chose not to use a national party list, resulting in 168 members being chosen from the national party lists and 232 from provincial party lists.)

Once these allocations are determined, the places to be filled from provincial lists are determined according to a normal seat allocation process, by the same formula as described above for the initial national calculation, using the party vote totals within each province. Once that process is complete for all provinces, the deficit of seats for each party against their primary national allocation of seats will become apparent, and party candidates will be then drawn from the national list to make up the correct total for each party. Terms are five years.

South Africa has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive authority is vested in a President who is elected by the National Assembly (and holds office subject to the continuing confidence that body). (Last updated January 2023.)

South Korea – A unicameral Daehan-min-guk Gukhoe (National Assembly) of which the sole house, referred to by the same title, is a composite assembly of 300 members. 253 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Using the national party vote totals of the ballots cast for local members, a further 47 seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and largest remainder method, to all parties winning either a minimum of 3% of the national vote total or else winning 5 or more local division elections. Overall representation of parties in the Gukhoe is not made proportional to national vote totals by any formal mechanism. Terms are four years.

A constitutional amendment adopted in late 2019 may apply to the elections of April 2020 (their validity is disputed). If the amendment is implemented, 17 of the 47 allocated seats will continue to be distributed without reference to seats won at the constituency level, but the remaining 30 seats will be allocated to achieve a degree of national levelling.

South Korea has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Daetonglyeong (President). The president appoints a prime minister (Gungmuchongni) who must have the support of (but need not be a member of) the Gukhoe, but while this executive serves as vice-chair of the cabinet and succeeds the president should they leave office mid-term (as happened in early 2017), the role is not independent of the president, nor is it specifically accountable to the Gukhoe. The President is directly elected for a five-year term by the plurality voting method, and individuals are limited to a single term of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

South Sudan – a bicameral National Legislature of which the lower house is the Al-Majlis Al-Tachirii (National Legislative Assembly), an unelected transitional assembly of (up to) 500 members. South Sudan is still transitioning out of civil war with Sudan under the 2011 peace agreement. Members of the Majlis have been appointed under a series of transitional agreements, the latest dating from 2021. In the current appointed assembly, 332 seats are allotted to former members of the Southern Sudanese National Legislative Assembly, 128 members representing the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition, 50 members representing South Sudan Opposition Alliance, 30 members representing other opposition groups, and 10 member representing former detainees. The government has stated that it anticipates holding legislative elections in late 2024.

South Sudan has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President. The current president, Salva Kir Mayardit – the only president in the nation’s short history – has never been elected, but transferred to the role as the former president of the pre-2011 Southern Sudan government. (Last updated January 2023.)

Spain – A bicameral Cortes Generales of which the lower house is the Congreso de los Diputados, an assembly of 350 members. 348 of the seats are allocated among 50 electoral divisions which are based on regional boundaries. The 48 mainland divisions are each allocated an initial 2 seats, and the remaining 248 are allowed in proportion to each division’s population, the result therefore involving moderate malapportionment in favour of small-population divisions. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each province by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Parties must achieve 3% of the vote in any electoral division in order to be eligible for allocation of seats. Finally, one seat is allocated to each of the small electoral divisions of Cueta and Melila on the African coast, each elected by the plurality method. Terms are up to four years.[xxxv]

Spain has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the King. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Presidente del Gobierno (President of the Government) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Congreso. (Last updated January 2023.)

Sri Lanka – A unicameral Parliament of which the sole house is also termed the Parliament, a composite assembly of 225 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within the 25 Sri Lankan administrative districts and also nationally by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. The allocation of numbers of seats to each district involves two steps, overseen by a constitutional Delimitation Commission. 22 electoral divisions are established based on the boundaries of the administrative districts. (20 of the 22 electoral divisions represent a single administrative district, and the final two divisions represent combinations of two and three small administrative districts respectively.) The electoral divisions (and thus districts) are grouped into 9 Sri Lankan provinces, each containing 2 or 3 divisions. In the first seat allocation step, each province receives an equal allocation of 4 seats regardless or provincial population. These seats are then allotted to divisions in numbers (1, 2 or 3) based on the population within each division. Next, 160 seats are allotted to each electoral division based on the number of enrolled voters in each. The sum of the allotments for each division from the two processes becomes the number of seats allocated to each division. These 196 members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties using the party list seat allocation system based on the vote total for each party in each division. Finally, a further 29 seats are filled from separate national party lists based on the national vote total for each party. The overall representation of parties in the Parliament is not made proportional to national vote totals by any formal mechanism. Terms are up to six years.

Sri Lanka has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised jointly by the President and also the Prime Minister. The President is directly elected for a six-year term by the preferential voting system. The Prime Minister is chosen on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Parliament. (Last updated January 2023.)

Sudan – a bicameral Al-Maǧlis al-Ttašriyʿiy (National Legislature), of which the lower house is the Al-Maǧlis al-Waṭaniy (National Assembly), a composite assembly of 426 members. The nation is divided into 18 electoral divisions based on Sudan’s states. 213 members are directly elected in the electoral divisions (which are allotted numbers of seats ranging from 2 to 36) using the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method. The remaining 213 seats are not directly elected but are allocated in each electoral division by the closed party list system of seat allocation to parties that win at least 5% of the vote in the division. For the allocated seats in each division there are two allocation pools, one pool comprising 60% of these seats using party lists limited to female candidates (totalling 128 seats nationwide), and the other pool comprising the remaining seats for the division using ordinary lists on which male and female candidates must alternate (totalling 85 seats nationwide). Voters cast two votes: one for the SNTV direct election in their division and a second vote for parties, the latter being used for both the female-only and the dual-gender seat allocation pools. Terms are 5 years.

Sudan has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a 5-year term by the two-round runoff method.

The most recent Sudanese parliamentary and presidential elections held in 2015 – the first to be held following an earlier period of civil war and the partition of the nation – were boycotted by opposition groups and turnout was low. The institutional arrangements described above were suspended as a result of a political coup d’état in 2019, followed by a military coup in 2021. The military government formed in 2021 still holds power as at early 2023, and there is no clear timeline for holding democratic elections. (Last updated January 2023.)

Suriname – a unicameral Nationale Assemblée of which the sole house is an assembly of 51 members. Suriname is divided into 10 electoral divisions based on administrative districts, with seat numbers ranging from 2 to 17 allotted in proportion to population. In the electoral divisions members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Terms are for five years.

Suriname has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is elected by a two-thirds majority of the Assemblée for a five-year term. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Vice President (in effect a post of prime minister) separately elected by the Assemblée. (Last updated January 2023.)

Sweden – A unicameral Riksdagen of which the sole house is also termed the Riksdag, a composite assembly of 349 members. 310 seats are allocated among 29 electoral divisions (‘fixed constituencies’), in numbers currently ranging between 2 and 34 seats, based on each division’s proportional share of total enrolled voters as assessed for each election. Division boundaries primarily match those of the 21 Swedish counties, though those containing Stockholm and two other cities are divided into smaller divisions.

Voters receive (and cast) either a ballot paper bearing a vote for a single party (or a blank ballot to be filled in likewise), or a ballot for a named party that lists candidates’ names, from which the voter may choose to support one candidate. Each type of ballot constitutes a vote for the relevant party. All parties receiving at least 12% of the total vote in an electoral division, and/or 4% of the vote nationwide, are eligible to receive seats in that division. Parties may pool their capacity to reach the 12% target by the device of apparentment (a joint party list) within each constituency separately. Seats are allocated to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the modified Sainte-Laguë formula. When determining the individual candidates which receive each party’s allotted constituency seats, any candidate who receives individual votes equal to 8% of the total for that party (or joint) list is moved to the top of that list. After such candidates are awarded seats the remaining places are filled in the party list order.

An additional 39 levelling seats are then filled from separate national party lists such that the total composition of the Riksdag is proportional (again according to the Modified Sainte-Laguë formula) to the aggregate national vote of all parties that received more than 4% of the national vote total. Terms are for four years. [xxxv]

Sweden has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Kung (King). However, actual executive power is exercised by the Statsminister (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Riksdag. (Last updated January 2018.)

Switzerland – A bicameral Bundesversammlung (German) (also Assemblée fédérale (French), Assemblea federale (Italian) and Assamblea federala (Romansh)) (Federal Assembly) of which the lower house is the Nationalrat (German) (also Conseil National (French), Consiglio Nazionale (Italian) and Cussegl Naziunal (Romansh)) (National Council), an assembly of 200 members. Seats in the Nationalrat are allocated to each of the 26 Swiss Cantons in proportion to their populations. The number of seats in each division varies substantially, from 1 (which occurs in six Cantons) to 34 (in Zürich Canton). The distribution of seats is reconsidered every ten years after a population census. Members for all Cantons represented by 2 or more seats are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by an open party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. The system is an unusual hybrid using apportionment to allocate seats to parties, followed by cumulative direct voting to allocate individual seats to candidates. Voters may complete a blank ballot paper by marking multiple votes for candidates from any party, and are permitted to cast up to as many votes in total as there are seats available in their electoral division (Canton). However, a maximum of two votes may be cast for any individual candidate. Voters may choose to leave some of their vote lines blank, but they may also choose to indicate support for a specified political party at the head of their ballot, and if they choose to do so any unused votes will be credited generically to that party. Ballots may also be submitted (and indeed most ballots are) using a pre-printed party list ballot paper in a form registered and made available in advance by each political party. Voters may submit such a ballot paper either in an unchanged form, or after editing it by one of several ways including deleting the names of one or more printed candidates, using such deleted spaces to enter the name of one or more candidates a second time (termed kumulieren or ‘accumulation’), and/or using such deleted spaces to enter (either once or twice) names of candidates from other parties (a practice termed panachage or ‘vote splitting’).[xxxvii] All votes cast for the candidates of each party (including any deleted or blank lines found on pre-printed party ballots or ballots indicating a favoured party) are totalled to yield a set of party vote totals, which are then used in the apportionment of seat allocations to parties. The formula for apportionment is the largest remainder method using the Hagenbach-Bischoff quota. Once the total number of seats allocated to each party is settled, the individual votes for the candidates of each seat-winning party (from all ballot papers, and including any kumulieren (second votes)) are totalled as in cumulative voting, and each party’s seats are awarded to the candidates with the highest personal vote totals. In Cantons allocated a single seat the system is formally identical, but in practice this amounts to direct election by the plurality method. Terms are four years.

Switzerland has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive authority is vested in and exercised by the Bundesrat (Federal Council), a body of seven Bundesversammlung members elected by the two houses of the Bundesversammlung in a joint sitting. The election procedure sees each of the seven seats on the Bundesrat filled separately by the preferential voting method. However by convention, the four major parties in the Bundesversammlung operate on the basis of a voluntary grand coalition, under which they pre-determine the distribution of the seven seats between themselves in proportion to their national vote shares. The voting to elect a person to each Bundesrat seat is limited to candidates from the relevent party. The Bundesversammlung similarly elects one of the seven members of the Bundesrat as the Bundespräsident (President of the Confederation) for one-year terms, but again by convention this position is rotated among the Bundesrat members in order of seniority. (Last updated January 2023.)

Syria – Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011 the parliamentary arrangements described below can at best be regarded as merely a nominal description of affairs even in government-controlled areas.

Syria has a unicameral Majlis al-Sha’ab (People’s Council) of which the sole house is an assembly of 250 members. Seats are allocated among 15 regional electoral divisions. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by a modified form of closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Each party list is obliged to include Ba’ath party members as 2/3rd of its named candidates. The National Progressive Front party list dominates recent elections, winning 183 seats in the 2020 elections (which saw a turnout of just 33%), and the Arab Socialist Baʻth Party, a member of the National Progressive Front list, received 167 of those seats. The only other party list won no seats, while 67 seats went to ‘independents’, who are required by law to “accept the leadership” of the governing party. Terms are four years.

Syria has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Rỷys (President) subject to no meaningful constraint from the Majlis. The President’s nominal term of office is seven years. In practice since 1971 the office of President and the dominant political power in Syria has been held by two generations of the al-Assad family. (Last updated January 2023.)

Tajikistan – a bicameral Majlisi Oli (Supreme Assembly) of which the lower house is the Majlisi Namoyandagon (House of Representatives), a composite assembly of 63 members. 41 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the two-round runoff method. Second rounds of voting are held in any division where no candidate achieves a majority or where the turnout is lower than 50% of enrolment. A further 22 members are not directly elected but seats are allocated in one nation-wide division using the closed party list system of seat allocation to all political parties which achieve at least 5% of the national vote. Terms are 5 years. Elections are not considered free and fair, and in 2020 the dominant People’s Democratic Party won 47 of the 63 seats, with the remaining 16 going to minor parties supportive of the government, while the only openly oppositional party won no seats.

Tajikistan has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a 7-year term by the two-round runoff method. There are no term limits, and current a President Emomalii Rahmon has been in office since the nation’s independent constitution came into effect in 1992. (Last updated January 2023.)

Tanzania – A unicameral Parliament of which the sole house is the National Assembly, a composite assembly of (currently) 393 members. There are five distinct bases for the holding of seats in the Assembly. The nation is divided into 264 electoral divisions (‘constituencies’), and members are directly elected to these single member divisions by the plurality voting method. In addition, in order to ensure female representation in the National Assembly, each party which wins constituency seats is allocated additional seats in the National Assembly equal to 30% of their number of constituencies, to be filled by female candidates nominated by the party. The number of such seats will vary slightly after each election: for example, 113 such seats were filled after the 2020 election. Five further seats are filled by members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives chosen by that assembly, two of whom must be female. The President of Tanzania may appoint up to 10 additional members to the National Assembly (a practice normally used to give proposed cabinet members a basis for holding executive offices), half of whom must be female. Finally, the nation’s Attorney-General – a public service position – holds an ex officio membership of the Assembly. Terms are five years.

Tanzania has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised jointly by the President and also the Prime Minister. The President is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff system. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, nominally on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the National Assembly. The party configuration of Tanzania has been a strong one-party system for many years, so the National Assembly does not display effective independence of the President in regard to the appointment of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and nor is the Prime Minister or the National Assembly effectively independent of the President. (Last updated January 2023.)

Thailand – A bicameral Sapha Nitibanyat (National Legislative Assembly), of which the lower house is the Sapha Phu Thaen Ratsadon (House of Representatives), a composite assembly of 500 members. The current constitution and electoral law was drafted under a military junta on 2017. From the elections of 2019, all voters cast votes for parties that are used both to elect local division MPs, and party vote totals also for seat allocation to national party lists. Members for 350 single member divisions are directly elected by the plurality voting method. A further 150 members are allocated to parties by a closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula in the numbers required such that the party composition of the whole assembly is ‘levelled‘, or made party-proportional overall to the national vote shares of each party. Terms are up to four years.

For the next election due in May 2023, the levelling approach is to be dropped, and the 500 seats will consist of 400 filled by plurality voting in single-member districts, and an additional 100 seats allocated to party lists, on a nationwide basis, using seperate votes cast for parties. This system should greatly favour a leading parties which secure a disproportionate number of local district wins, and was legislated in 2021 by the ruling party and major opposition party for this purpose. A redrawing of electoral district boundaries to accomodate the new number of 400 was initiated in 2022.

Thailand has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Rama (King). However, actual executive power is exercised by the Nayok Ratthamontri Haeng (Prime Minister) who is (from 2019) appointed at a joint sitting of both houses of the Sapha Nitabanyat. (Last updated January 2023.)

Timor-Leste (East Timor) – a unicameral Parlamento Nacional (Portuguese) or Parlamentu Nasionál (Tetum) (National Parliament), an assembly of 65 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated in a single national pool to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Parties must achieve at least 4% of the vote to be eligible to be allocated seats. On party lists at least every third candidate must be female. Members in office who disown affiliation with the party under whose name they were elected must resign from the Parliamento. Terms are 5 years.

Timor-Leste has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is shared between a Presidente (Prezidente, President), who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method, and a Primeiro-Ministro (Primeiru-Ministru, Prime Minister) who holds office on the basis of confidence in the Parlamento. (Last updated January 2023.)

Togo – a unicameral Assemblée Nationale of which the sole house is an assembly of 91 members. There are 30 multi-member electoral divisions, each allotted only a small number of seats. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation. Terms are five years.

Togo has the presidential system of government, in which executive authority is vested in a constitutional President who is directly elected for five year terms by the two-round runoff method. The President appoints a Prime Minister and cabinet. (Last updated January 2023.)

Tonga – a unicameral Fale Alea (Legislative Assembly), an assembly of at least 26 and as many as 30 members. 17 members (termed “commoners”) are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. These are allocated to the island districts of Tongatapu (10 members), Vava’u (3 members), Ha’apai (2 members) and Niuas and ‘Eua (1 member each). A further 9 members (“nobles”) are selected by the 33 noble chiefs of Tonga. Terms are 4 years. Finally, any members of the executive cabinet who are not already Fale Alea members also become members ex officio, but the cabinet may not include more than 4 such persons.

Tonga is a semi-constitutional monarchy in which executive power is vested in the hereditary King. In practice the nation has the plurality parliamentary system of government, since actual executive power is exercised by a Prime Minister accountable to the Fale Alea. However the democratisation process that has unfolded since 2008 still involves tension between (on the one hand) the King, the King’s Privy Council and the nobility, and (on the other) the bulk of the democratically elected commoner MPs. In November 2017 for the first time elected commoners of the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands achieved a working majority of the Fale Area, winning 14 of the 17 elected seats. (Last updated January 2023.)

Trinidad and Tobago – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the House of Representatives, an assembly of 41 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Terms are 5 years.

Trinidad and Tobago has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is formally held by a President selected by a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament, but is in fact exercised by a Prime Minister and government accountable to the House of Representatives. (Last updated January 2023.)

Tunisia – a unicameral Majlis Nawwāb esh-Sha‘b (Assembly of the Representatives of the People), an assembly of 217 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method. Seats are allocated across 33 electoral divisions. 27 electoral divisions are located in Tunisia itself, and in these divisions between 4 and 10 seats are allocated, totalling 199 seats. The remaining 18 seats are allocated within 6 divisions made up of Tunisian electors residing overseas, including two divisions for electors residing in France (each of 5 seats), one division for electors in each of Italy and Germany, one for electors in the remainder of Europe and the Americas, and the last for electors in the remainder of the world. Lists must consist of alternating male and female candidates. Terms are 5 years.

Tunisia has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is vested in the Président who is directly elected for a term of 5 years by the two-round runoff method. However executive power is in practice exercised by the Chef du gouvernement (Fr., Head of Government) appointed by the President and generally answerable to the Majlis. (Last updated January 2023.)

Türkiye – A unicameral Büyük Millet Meclisi (Grand National Assembly) of which the sole house is also termed the Meclis (Assembly or Parliament), an assembly of (from 2018) 600 members. Seats are allocated in proportion to population among 87 electoral divisions which are based on the boundaries of the 81 Türkish administrative provinces (with Istanbul and Ankara being subdivided into 3 electoral divisions, and Bursa and Izmir provinces each into 2 divisions). Seat allocations are reviewed to reflect changing population before each election. The numbers of seats allocated to the electoral divisions range from small divisions with 1-2 seats up to the large Istanbul divisions with 28-35 seats each. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated within each division by a distorted form of the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula.

The Türkish electoral system is arguably the most vote-distorting of all the world electoral systems which claim to be party-proportional. Seats in the Meclis are only allocated to party lists (‘alliances’) which achieve a threshold of 10% of the total nationwide vote. Parties must also contest at least 2 districts, and one-third of all districts in a province, in at least half the provinces (41), which heavily disadvantages regionally-based parties. However, parties may form national alliances and register for the elections as one list, and all member parties of such alliances become eligible to be allocated seats if the alliance as a whole passed the 105 nationwide threshold. In addition, independent individual candidates (in practice including many nominees belonging to small and local parties) may be nominated in an electoral division and may be allocated a seat if they win sufficient votes personally, without regard to the 10% national threshold. In recent elections only four of fewer parties have achieved the very high vote threshold, which works strongly against the representation of voters supporting parties which have small vote shares or are regionally concentrated. From 2018, terms are five years.

Türkiye has a presidential system of government, in which executive authority is vested in a constitutional Başkan (President) who is directly elected. Executive power is also exercised by the Başbakan (Prime Minister) appointed by the President. This presidential system replaced the more parliamentary system of government in effect prior to 2018. (Last updated January 2023.)

Turkmenistan – a unicameral Mejlis (Assembly) of 125 members. All members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Terms are 5 years.

Turkmenistan has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a 5-year term by the two-round runoff method. There are no term limits. (Last updated January 2023.)

Tuvalu – a unicameral Palamene (Parliament), an assembly of 16 members. Each of the eight main islands or island combinations forms a separate electoral division, in each of which two members are directly elected by the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method. Terms are 4 years.

Tuvalu has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister who holds office on the confidence of the Palamene. (Last updated January 2023.)

Uganda – A unicameral Parliament of which the sole house is the National Assembly, a composite assembly of 426 members. 289 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. A further 112 members are elected in special electoral divisions for the representation of women. An additional 25 seats are allocated to appointed special representatives of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (10), youth (5), people with disabilities (5) and workers (5). 13 key government officials also attend Parliament ex officio. Terms are five years.

Uganda has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the President subject to only limited constraints from the National Assembly. The President is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff system. (Last updated January 2023.)

Ukraine – A unicameral Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council), a composite assembly of 450 members. There have been frequent developments of the electoral system over the past two decades, broadly towards one based on seat allocation by party lists. At the election of 2019, 225 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality method. A further 225 members are not directly elected, but these seats are allocated at a national level by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method, to all parties which win 5% of the total vote nationwide. Changes to electoral law since the 2019 election provide that from the next election (due by October 2023), all 450 seats will be filled by the party list seat allocation method. Terms are up to four years.

Ukraine has the premier-presidential system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the Prezydent who is directly elected. Normal executive power is exercised by the Uryad (Government, or Cabinet of Ministers) led by the Prem’ier-ministr (Prime Minister) on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the Verkhovna Rada. From 2014, and particularly since early 2022,

Ukraine is currently defending itself against invasion by Russia, and governance and electoral arrangements are significantly affected. (Last updated January 2023.)

United Kingdom – A bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the House of Commons, an assembly of 650 members. All members are directly elected in single member divisions (‘constituencies’) by the plurality voting method. Historically the House was primarily elected in 2-member electoral divisions (with exceptional 1, 3 and 4-member divisions in some locations) in which members were elected by the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method. In 1885 this structure was almost entirely replaced by one of single-member constituencies, creating what came to be known internationally as the ‘first-past-the-post’ system of single-member plurality elections. Up to the House elected in 2019 the allocation of seats among the four ‘countries’ of the UK has not been strictly proportional. For the current House there are 533 divisions in England, 40 in Wales, 59 in Scotland, and 18 in Northern Ireland – a distribution which favours voters in Scotland and Wales with increased per capita representation compared to that in England and Northern Ireland. The boundaries of electoral divisions, which are based primarily on local government boundaries, are meant by law to be reviewed regularly and re-determined by independent Boundary Commissions for each of the four countries, but this was delayed in the past decade and completed only in 2021-22. For the next election – due in 2024 – the allocation of seats among the four countries (and regions within England) will be made proportional to population, and all constituency boundaries were redrawn in 2022 (the first boundary review completed since 2004-05) in anticipation. Terms are up to five years, but early elections have been common.

The United Kingdom has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in the King. However, actual executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister on the basis of the continuing confidence of a majority in the House of Commons. (Last updated January 2023.)

United States – A bicameral Congress of which the lower house is the House of Representatives, an assembly of 435 members. Seats are divided among the 50 States of the Union using the Huntingdon-Hill modified divisor method, including a minimum seat rule requiring at least one seat for each state. Members are directly elected in 435 single member divisions (‘districts’) primarily by the plurality voting method. In 44 of the 50 states elections are held using single-member plurality voting. The states of California (52 seats) and Washington (10 seats) elect members in contests limited to just two candidates, who are earlier selected in ‘open primary’ elections by single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting, a rule which sometimes results in an election day choice of two final candidates of the same party, or of one party candidate and an independent. In the state of Georgia (14 seats) each party selects a single candidate during primary elections, but if on the national election day the plurality candidates falls short of 50% of the vote a final two-candidate runoff election is held a few weeks later. The state of Louisiana (6 seats) also uses a two-round runoff method, with candidacy on election day open to multiple candidates from each party; if no candidate secures 50% of the vote a runoff election between the top two candidates (possibly from the same party) is held a few weeks later. In the state of Maine (2 seats), as of 2018 members are elected by the optional preferential voting method (generally known in the US as ‘ranked choice voting’) in single-member districts. As of 2022, the single member for the state of Alaska is elected by preferential (ranked choice) voting after a primary round culls the field of nominees to just the top for vote-winners from that round (top-four-placed nominees not willing to proceed to the final round may withdraw and be replaced by the next-placed primary nominee). Terms are two years, with elections always held on the first Tuesday in November in each even-numbered year.

Five non-voting House ‘members’ (termed delegates) are also elected to represent voters in the five US non-state territories, including Puerto Rico (population over 4 million), three Pacific island territories, and the federal capital territory of the District of Columbia, containing the city of Washington.

Redistribution of allocations of the 435 seats among the US states, and reviews of district boundaries (‘redistricting’) within each state, are conducted after the national census held every 10 years. Reviews of district boundaries are administered by state governments and/or legislatures. The impact of concentration distortion is extensive in many states, and is made worse by redistricting being routinely gerrymandered by partisan legislators and governors without shame.

The upper house of the Congress is the Senate, an assembly of 100 members. Each US state is allocated two Senate seats. The terms of office of senators are six years, and seats are filled in three phases at elections held every two years, such that each state will have one senate seat facing election in two of the three phases. The three phases therefore see 33, 33 or 34 places facing election. Elections are held on the common US election day on the first Tuesday in November in each even-numbered year.

Senators for 44 of the states are elected by simple plurality voting. In the remaining 6 states – as with the House electoral methods described above – senators for the states of Washington and California are elected by a system where primary elections result in the elimination of all but the two leading candidates, senators for Louisiana and Georgia are elected at 2-candidate runoff elections if no candidate achieves 50% of the vote at the main election, and senators for Maine and Alaska are elected using optional preferential voting.

Vacancies in Senate places are filled by appointment by the relevant state Governor in the case of 46 of the states. The remaining 4 states (and, under various conditions, in 9 other states where Governor appointments are used) fresh elections are held to fill a vacancy. The appointment of replacement senators at the discretion of Governors means that an elected senator may be replaced by one of a different party affiliation, except in 5 states (Arizona, Hawaii, North Carolina, Utah and Wyoming) where under state electoral laws Governors are required to appoint new senators of the same party affiliation as the elected senator being replaced.

The United States has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President subject to various constraints by the Congress, which is formally independent of the President. The President is indirectly elected for a four-year term by an electoral college system in which each State is allocated a number of delegates equal to their total representation in the two houses of Congress (which results in malapportionment favouring small States). Constitutionally, the legislature of each State is free to determine the method of appointment of that State’s delegates, but since the early 19th century every State has legislated to allow its electoral college delegation to be directly elected, with almost all States providing that this be done as a single ticket chosen by the plurality voting method (equivalent to the bloc voting method. Presidents are limited to 2 elected terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Uruguay – a bicameral Asamblea General (General Assembly) of which the lower house is the Cámara de Representantes (House of Representatives), an assembly of 99 members. Seats are allocated to Uruguay’s 19 departments in proportion to population, with a minimum of two seats for the smallest departments. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation, using the D’Hondt divisor formula. Terms are 5 years.

Uruguay has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Presidente, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method at elections held simultaneously with the elections for the Asamblea. A Presidente is limited to two terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Uzbekistan – A bicameral Oliy Majlis of which the lower house is the Qonunchilik Palatasi (Legislative Chamber), a composite assembly of 150 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the two-round runoff method. A candidate wins the seat outright with 50% or more of the first round vote, provided that turnout is at least 33% of enrolled voters in that electoral division; otherwise, the second round of voting between the top two placed candidates is held. Candidates must be nominated by political parties, which are obliged to ensure that at least 30% of their candidates are women. Terms are five years.

Uzbekistan has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidenti subject to only limited constraints from the Majlis. The Presidenti is directly elected for a seven-year term by the two-round runoff system. (Last updated January 2023.)

Vanuatu – A unicameral Parliament of which the sole house is an assembly of 52 members. Seats are allocated in proportion to population among 18 electoral divisions. Division magnitudes range between 1 and 7 members. Members are directly elected by the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method, although in single-member divisions this is in practice simply a plurality vote. Terms are up to four years.

Vanuatu has the plurality parliamentary system of government, in which nominal executive authority is vested in a constitutional President selected by an electoral college consisting of members of Parliament and the presidents of Regional Councils. However, actual executive power is exercised by a Prime Minister elected by a majority in the Parliament. (Last updated January 2023.)

Venezuela – A unicameral Asamblea Nacional (National Assembly) of which the sole house is a composite assembly of 277 members. However, the electoral system has recently been the subject of controversy and dispute.

Up until 2020, the electoral law provided that the number of seats was not constant, but was around 165. At each election each of the 23 Venezuelan states and the capital district were allocated three members plus the result of dividing the state population by 1.1% of the total national population. For the 2015 election the resulting number of seats was 164. Approximately 70% of each state’s seats were filled by direct elections in local electoral divisions (called circumscriptions), and the remaining 30% are filled by party-proportional seat allocation. At the 2015 election 113 seats were filled in 87 circumscriptions. 66 of these were single member divisions filled by the plurality voting method, but in a number of circumscriptions two (in 16 cases) or three (in 5 cases) members were elected using the block voting method. The distribution of circumscription boundaries featured a significant degree of malapportionment generally favouring rural areas. A further 51 seats were filled by seat allocation in each of the 24 regions (i.e.: the 23 states and the capital district) – with 20 states and the capital district being allotted 2 seats and the 3 largest states by population (Carabobo, Miranda and Zulia) allotted 3 seats – based on a separate vote within each state, using the closed party list system and the D’Hondt divisor formula. A final 3 seats are provided for representatives of indigenous peoples, which are elected separately by all voters (not just those of indigenous background). Terms were up to five years.

In 2020 the ruling political party brought about a new electoral law changing the Asamblea to a composite one consisting of 144 members appointed by seat allocation using closed lists and the D’Hondt formula, together with 130 members directly elected in 87 electoral districts by plurality voting, and 3 places set aside for indigenous representation. Most opposition parties boycotted the elections to various extents, and the circumstances of campaigning were not regarded as free and fair by external observers. The election was conducted in December 2020, seeing a turnout officially recorded to be 30% of voters, but alleged by opposition claims to be as low as 16%. Winning 69% of votes counted, against very fragmented opposition, the governing ‘Great Patriotic Pole’ coalition secured all 130 of the plurality-elected seats, and 123 of 144 of the list-based allocated seats, for an overwhelming parliamentary majority.

Venezuela has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised solely by the Presidente subject to only limited constraints from the legislature. The Presidente is directly elected for a six-year term by the plurality voting method. (Last updated January 2023.)

Yemen – a unicameral Majlis al-Nuwaab (House of Representatives), an assembly of 301 members. Members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Terms were 6 years. Yemen has been in recent years a one-party political situation.

Yemen has been in a state of civil disunity or actual civil war since 2011, culminating in the coup d’etat of 2014-15. Due to these conditions as well as constitutional reforms from 2009, which are yet to be effectively implemented, the Majlis, originally due to be re-elected in 2009, has been dissolved, reinstated and had its term of office repeatedly extended by decree. The assembly cannot represent the warring elements of the nation in a normal manner.

Yemen nominally has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the directly elected Rỷys (President), who is to be elected from among two candidates chosen by the Majlis. The President nominally serves a maximum of two 7-year terms, however previous Presidents include Ali Abdullah Saleh, who served from 1990 to 2012, and Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who came to office in 2012 as the only candidate, and whose term continued (with interruptions) until 2022. As with the Majlis, the normal administration of the nation by the President is greatly affected by the current state of civil and international war. (Last updated January 2023.)

Zambia – a unicameral National Assembly, an assembly of 164 members. 156 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. An additional 8 members are appointed by the President. A Speaker and deputy Speaker are chosen from outside the Assembly. Terms are 5 years.

Zambia has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method, together with a Prime Minister appointed by the President. A president is limited to two 5-year terms of office. (Last updated October January 2023.)

Zimbabwe – a bicameral Parliament of which the lower house is the National Assembly, an assembly of 270 members. The nation is divided into 10 provinces, within which 210 members are directly elected in single member divisions by the plurality voting method. A constitutional rule provides that for the elections of 2013 and 2018 an additional 60 seats – 6 in each province – were allocated to female candidates by the closed party list system of seat allocation. These are allocated in each province in proportion to the relative aggregate votes received by each party’s candidates of political parties in the single-member divisional elections. Terms are 5 years.

Zimbabwe has the presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the President, who is directly elected for a five-year term by the two-round runoff method.

Recent presidential and legislative elections (the most recent being 2018) have been subject to accusations of widespread irregularities favouring the incumbent president and governing party. In addition to state media bias, intimidation of voters and security issues, the major technical allegation in 2018 was that the electoral rolls failed to include the names or around 30% of entitled voters, while instead including false identities of non-existent voters amounting to a similar figure. (Last updated January 2023.)

Island micro-nations – fifteen remaining small nation-states also feature democratic political systems with assemblies. Most are former British dependencies and remain members of the Commonwealth, but a few have French or Spanish backgrounds. Of these:

  • Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Cook Islands, Grenada, Palau and Saint Lucia directly elect members to assemblies in single member divisions by the plurality voting method.
  • Micronesia uses the same SMD-plurality system but in two tiers, with local and also larger-district members elected in overlapping geographical boundaries.
  • Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines also use SMD-plurality, but also add a number of appointees to their assemblies.
  • The Marshall Islands, Niue and Samoa also directly elect members using plurality voting in a mix of single member and multi-member electoral divisions, the latter of which amount to using the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) voting method.
  • In Kiribati voters directly elect members by the two-round runoff method.
  • In São Tomé and Príncipe members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the closed party list system of seat allocation. (Last updated January 2023).

Special status assemblies

image - European_Parliament_Strasbourg_Hemicycle

The ‘hemicycle’ chamber of the EU Parliament, Strasbourg (image: Wikipedia)

European Union – a unicameral Parliament, an assembly of 705 members, created by a series of treaties between the member nations, the most recent being the Lisbon Treaty of 2009. Seats in the Parliament are allocated among the Union’s 27 nations in ‘degressive’ proportion to population. The largest national number of members is currently that for Germany (96 seats), and the lowest is four small states having 6 members, resulting in the per capita representation of the small states being around 10 times that for Germany.

The governing treaty requires that each nation’s members of the Parliament be chosen by some form of proportional representation, for which either the single transferable vote (STV) voting system or any form of party list system of seat allocation are permissible. Representatives from the Republic or Ireland (Éire) and Malta are directly elected by the STV system; all others use party list systems. 22 nations determine their members (MEPs) on the basis of being a single national electoral division, whilst five nations (Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, and Poland) create internal subdivisions for the purpose of their MEP elections.

Terms are five years, with each nation’s election days occurring during a four-day period in late May in each election year. Voter turnout is relatively low, and declined steadily since the first elections in 1979, reaching a low of 42% at the 2014 elections, before rising to 50% at the 2019 elections.

Partisan politics within the Parliament is primarily carried out through multi-national political party alliances (‘European political parties’), with which political parties in the member nations associate themselves. A small number of MEPs belong to un-associated parties or are individual MEPs.

The Parliament sits in both Strasbourg (France) and in Brussels (Belgium), with additional administrative offices in Luxembourg. (Last updated January 2023.)

Kosovo – Kosovo declared itself independent of Serbia in 2008, and is recognised as an independent state by a 110 UN member nations, including 23 of 28 members of the European Union. Serbia does not recognise Kosovan independence, but in 2013 agreed to recognise the de facto Kosovan government and its institutions.The Kosovan parliament is the unicameral Kuvendi (Assembly), consisting of 120 members. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the modified Sainte-Laguë formula. 100 seats are allocated in the primary proportional distribution between parties. 10 seats are allocated to separate parties representing the Serbian ethnic minority, and 10 final seats are allocated to parties representing the small ethnic minorities of Romani, Ashkali, Egyptians, Bosniaks, Turks and Gorans. Terms are 4 years.

Kosovo has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which executive power is nominally held by the Presidenti, who is selected for a five-year term by the Kuvendi by a two-thirds majority, but is exercised in practice by a Kryeministri (Prime Minister) and ministry which hold office with the confidence of the Kuvendi. (Last updated January 2023.)

Northern Cyprus – The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus consists of 40% of the island of Cyprus that was invaded by Turkey during tensions with Greece in 1974. A local independent republic is established there, but it is not recognised by the United Nations or by any nation other than Turkey. Cyprus itself has since become a member of the European Union. The legislature of Cyprus still makes provision for the representation of residents of the northern area.

The legislature of Northern Cyprus is a unicameral Cumhuriyet Meclisi (Assembly of the Republic), an assembly of 50 members. The territory is divided into five electoral divisions based on the territory’s administrative districts, each of which is allotted numbers of seats ranging from 6 to 16 in proportion to population. Members are not directly elected, but seats are allocated to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation. Parties must achieve 5% of the total national vote to be eligible for seat allocation in any district.

Unusually, while candidates are associated with the electoral divisions, voters are able to support candidates from anywhere across the five divisions. Voters may either simply vote for a party, which is equivalent to casting as many ‘preference votes’ as there candidates places in their electoral division. Alternatively, a voter may mark up to a number of preferences for individual candidates (as many ‘preference votes’ as there are candidates places in their electoral division) and may chose individual candidates from across the available parties. The aggregate of all the preference votes cast for a party’s candidates on ballots of either form is taken as the party’s vote total for the purposes of the seat allocation calculations. Once each party’s number of seats won is determined, the individual places are awarded to individual candidates of each party in order of the number of preference votes won by candidates. Terms are 5 years.

Northern Cyprus has the representative parliamentary system of government, in which the head of government is the Başkan (President), who is directly elected by the two-round runoff method. Executive power is in practice exercised by a Prime Minister who holds office on the confidence of the Meclesi. (Last updated January 2023.)

Palestine – The As-Sulṭah Al-Waṭaniyyah Al-Filasṭīniyyah or Palestinian Authority (referred to by itself as the ‘State of Palestine’) is an interim self-government body established by the 1993 Oslo Accords within the West Bank and Gaza Strip territories occupied by Israel. In 2013 the United Nations General Assembly voted to recognize the State of Palestine and its Authority as a ‘non-member observer state’. Palestine has in practice been divided into two jurisdictions – the West Bank and Gaza – since 2006-07 due to the conflict between rival political movements Fatah and Hamas.

The Palestinian National Authority has a unicameral Al-Majlis al-Tashrī`iyy (Legislative Council), a nominally composite assembly of 133 members. The Al-Majlis was established by the 2004 Constitution and has only been elected once, in 2006. Members for 66 of the seats were directly elected in 16 electoral divisions, electing between 1 and 9 members, by the block voting method. In four specific divisions 1 or 2 seats (a total of 6 overall) were reserved to be awarded to candidates of Christian backgrounds, and where necessary relevant candidates were awarded seats in those divisions above candidates who were higher-placed in the block vote results. A further 66 members were not directly elected, but seats were allocated by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the Sainte-Laguë formula, to all ‘lists’ (which could include candidates from one or more parties) which achieve 2% of the total vote. Each list was required to include at least one woman among the first three candidates listed, at least one woman among the next four candidates, and at least one woman among the five candidates that followed. The President of the Authority is also ex-officio a member of the Al-Majlis. Terms are nominally four years, but due to the deep division between Fatah and Hamas, the Al-Majlis – to which Hamas won a majority at the elections in 2006 – has not met since 2007. In 2007 the President of the Authority – Fatah leader Mohammed Abbas – issued a decree mandating the use of a party list seat allocation electoral system for future elections of the Al-Majlis.

The Palestinian National Authority has the premier-presidential system of government, in which executive power is exercised jointly by the Rỷys (President) and the Rỷys Alwzrạʾ (Prime Minister). The President is nominally to be directly elected for a four-year term by the two-round runoff system. However the only election for the office of President was that held in 2005, and political events have since prevented a second election, with President Mahmoud Abbas serving since 2005. A Prime Minister is appointed by the President subject to the continuing confidence of a majority in the Al-Majlis. (Last updated January 2023.)

Taiwan – Taiwan, while regarded by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (and recognised by most other nations) as a province of China under extra-legal administration, is de facto an independent state under the administration of the Republic of China (ROC) government. The Republic of China existed and governed all of China from 1911 to 1949. The PRC regards the ROC as having been dissolved in 1949 with the PRC becoming its successor state; the administration on Taiwan regards itself as continuing the existence of the ROC nation and its government.

The Taiwan Guómín Dàhuì (National Assembly) existing from 1949, a continuation of the ROC constitutional structure, was abolished in 1989. The present system of government includes – as one of its five branches of government – a unicameral legislative chamber, the Lìfǎ Yuàn (Legislative Court), now commonly referred to as the guóhuì (Parliament), a composite assembly of 113 members. All voters cast ballots separately for local representatives and for national parties. 73 members are directly elected in local single member divisions by the plurality voting method. Every Taiwanese county has a minimum of 1 electoral district, resulting in moderate malapportionment. A further 34 seats are allocated to parties by the open party list system of seat allocation, using the simple quota and the largest remainder method, based on the national vote total for each party, with a eligibility threshold of 5% of the national vote. Finally, Taiwanese aboriginal voters cast a separate ballot to directly elect 6 members in two 3-member divisions using the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) method. Terms are four years.

Taiwan has the separated powers system of government, in which executive power is exercised by the Zhōnghuá Mínguó Zǒngtǒng (President of the ROC) subject to a division of responsibilities and powers shared with the Guóhuì, which is independent of the President; for example, the President has no veto over legislation. The President is directly elected for a four-year term by the two-round runoff system, and individuals are limited to 2 terms of office. (Last updated January 2023.)

Notes
[i] OPPD describes this system as ‘preferential’
[ii] Mackie and Rose 1991, pp 24-5
[iii] OPPD indicates that there are 20 divisions, not 11.
[iv] Mackie and Rose 1991, pp 39-40
[v] OPPD indicates that the method is D’Hondt, not largest remainder.
[vi] Mackie and Rose 1991, pp 66-67
[vii] OPPD indicates that the number of divisions is 8, not 14.
[viii] OPPD indicates that the Hagenbach-Bischoff, not D’Hondt method is used.
[ix] Mackie and Rose 1991, pp 87-89
[x] Elklit 1993
[xi] The first open multi-party elections under this system were held in June 2012. However following the elections, the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt ruled that the result for around one third of the seats was unconstitutional. Part of the ruling was based on the fact that some seats were contested on a proportional party list system, while others were contested on the plurality system, which led the court to find that registered political parties had been allowed to compete for seats set aside for independent candidates.
[xii] OPPD 2011
[xiii] OPPD 2011
[xiv] OPPD 2011
[xv] Mackie and Rose 1991, pp 130-5
[xvi] OPPD 2011
[xvii] OPPD 2011
[xviii] OPPD 2011
[xix] OPPD 2011
[xx] OPPD 2011
[xxi] http://pomed.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Libyan-Party-List-Results.pdf
[xxii] OPPD 2011
[xxiii] OPPD 2011
[xxiv] OPPD 2011
[xxv] Johnson and Hoyo 2012, p.138
[xxvi] See Louis Massicotte in Colomer 2012, p 103
[xxvii] Results of the 2013 Monégasque elections: http://www.electionguide.org/election.php?ID=1653
[xxviii] OPPD 2011
[xxix] OPPD 2011
[xxx] OPPD 2011
[xxxi] The complex formula for this threshold is explained in OPPD 2011.
[xxxiii] OPPD 2011
[xxxiv] OPPD 2011
[xxxv] OPPD 2011
[xxxvi] OPPD 2011
[xxxvii] OSCE report on 2007 Swiss elections – http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/switzerland/26212
[xxxviii] OPPD 2011
[xxxix] “Instead of voters choosing their congressmen, this is where congressmen choose their voters”, Hartcher 2011

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