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Reforming an electoral system - an experiment that failed: Romania: 2008-2012

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Early online date20 Jul 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 19 Jun 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 20 Jul 2019


An increasing number of electoral systems is being introduced which seeks to combine single-member districts with a proportional allocation of seats according to parties’ national vote shares. One such system, that differed in its key features from many others, was introduced in Romania in 2008 and used in that year’s general elections, when it performed reasonably well. It did not at the next elections in 2012, when an unforeseen consequence of a coalition winning more than half of the votes cast was that a number of ‘overhang’ seats was allocated to each house in the bi-cameral parliament, representing some 20 per cent of the total number of elected members. The system was then abandoned and replaced by the previously-used proportional representation system. This paper describes the system and its operation at the two elections, discussing the reasons for its introduction and later abandonment.



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