The legislative chamber of Croatia is the unicameral Sabor. It consists of between 100 and 160 members, depending on the voter turnout and the resulting proportionality of the parties. The threshold is 5%. For national elections, the country is divided into 10 constituencies. Additional seats are reserved for special constituencies (minorities, Croatians living abroad. At the moment the Sabor consists of 151 members of parliament. The first electoral law is from 1992, the current one is from 2015.
The Polish National Assembly consists of the Senate (upper chamber) and the Sejm (lower chamber). The Sejm consists of 460 MPs, which are elected proportionally every four years. The threshold is set at 5% with exceptions for national minorities. Using the d’Hondt system, the seats are distributed through 41 constituencies each sending between 7 and 19 MPs to the Sejm. Poland enacted its first electoral law in 1990, the law currently in force was established in 2011 and last amended in 2014.
The main institution of the legislative branch of the Republic of Slovakia is the National Council. It is unicameral and consists of 150 members who are elected for a period of four years. The whole country forms one constituency. The seats of the Council are distributed under proportional representation using the Hagenbach-Bischof system. The first electoral law for the election of the National Council was established in 1990. After the country’s independence from Czechoslovakia the law was revised. The latest amendment was implemented in 2011 and before the 2012 elections.
The Austrian Parliament consists of the National Council and the Federal Council. Although formally bicameral, the National Council acts mostly as a single chamber. It consists of 183 members who are elected every five years (until 2007 every four years). The federal territory is divided into nine provincial districts, which carry the names of the respective province, which are then further divided into 43 constituencies. The national threshold is 4 %. Austria enacted its first electoral law after the Second World War in 1945. The last amendment was implemented in 2012.
The Czech Parliament is bicameral and consists of the Chamber of Deputies (the Lower House) and the Senate (the Upper House). The Chamber of Deputies is elected on the principle of proportional representation and seat allocation takes place by the D’Hondt system. The Senate is elected on the principle of majority vote. The Lower House consists of 200 deputies and is elected for a four-year term. The Czech Republic is divided into 14 constituencies which match its regions. The first electoral law is from 1990, the most current from 1995.
The Romanian Chamber of Deputies is the Lower House of the parliament and consists of 332 seats elected in 43 constituencies. Each national minority is entitled to a seat in the Chamber of Deputies. Elections are held every four years and the MPs are elected according to the principle of proportional representation. Lists must pass a threshold of 5% on a national scale. The first electoral law in Romania was approved in 1990. The most recent amendment is from 2008.
The National Assembly of Slovenia is part of a bicameral parliament, but acts mostly as one single chamber, while the second (National Council) is not involved in the legislative process. The National Assembly consists of 90 MPs, two of which are reserved for representatives of the Italian and Hungarian minorities (elected using the Borda count). The other 88 are elected from 8 electoral units, each divided into 11 single-seat constituencies. Slovenia’s first electoral law was enacted in 1992, and its most current one in 2005.
The legislative chamber of Bulgaria is the unicameral National Assembly. It consists of 240 members who are elected for a four-year term. The first electoral law was implemented in 1991 and reintroduced the Grand National Assembly, which consists of 400 MPs and is concerned with matters of special jurisdiction. In order to be included in the seat allocation, parties have to gain at least 4% of the national vote. The seats are distributed under proportional representation in multi-member constituencies, using the Hare-Niemeyer method. The most recent electoral law is from 2014.
The legislative power in Hungary is unicameral and rests with the National Assembly, consisting of 199 members, as a result of the electoral reform in 2012. For a four-year term, 106 MPs are elected in single-member districts and 93 MPs via proportional representation on national lists. In 2014, single round elections took place for the first time. Hungary enacted its first elector law in 1989; the most current amendment is from 2013.
The Serbian National Assembly is the only chamber of the Serbian parliament. It consists of 250 MPs elected from party-lists and seats distributed proportionally to the votes the list received in a single nationwide constituency. The legislative period is four years and lists must pass a threshold of 5% to enter parliament. The first electoral law was implemented after the end of the Yugoslav Wars in 2002. The most recent in 2011.
Please note that many of the laws were obtained in their original language and have subsequently been translated into English. Although, we have strived to use the highest professional translation possible, this may have resulted in potential translation issues due to linguistic incompatibilities. If you use the laws or data provided in the current database, please cite the project, as:
Rashkova, Ekaterina R. 2015. Electoral Law and Party System Development in Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe. Database available at http://electorallaw.org/.