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The Bijani Chamber of Deputies election of 1961 took place on Saturday, February 4, 1961, to elect the 80 members of the Chamber of Deputies of Bijan.  It was triggered by President Mikalo Derna issuing the order on Monday, January 16, 1961, for an election to replace the outgoing 4th Chamber of Deputies, which was chosen in the 1957 general election.  The eletion coincided with the formation of the 4th National Council, the upper house of the National Assembly.

Background

Electoral system

The ruling Bijani National Party used its parliamentary majority to enact substantial changes to the electoral system, which went into effect for the first time at the 1961 election.  The first change abandoned the Sainte-Laguë method of apportioning seats (used in all previous Bijani elections) in favor of the D'Hondt method, which mathematically yields a slight preference to larger parties over smaller ones.

Another change abandoned the former district/list system used in the 1951, 1953 and 1957 elections, whereby 64 seats were apportioned to the districts according to population, and the remaining 16 compensatory were allocated to the parties based on proportional representation, to ensure the overall party composition in the Chamber was proportional to the national vote.  A system similar to the biproportional system used in the 1949 election was adopted to determine which candidates would take seats from each district.

The third major change allowed parties to register together in joint lists.  This allowed parties to pool their votes, which could earn the list an extra quota, and thus an extra seat in the Chamber.  This also allowed minor parties the opportunity to enter the Chamber without crossing the 4% national threshold.

Political parties

Districts

Bijan 1961 Electoral Districts

Map of the 6 electoral districts contested in the 1961 election.

The 1960 census showed that marked demographic changes had taken place in the country since the previous census ten years prior, most notably the rapid urbanization of the population and the explosive growth of Hadar and Reliket, Bijan's two major cities. To ensure proper representation in the Chamber, the boundaries of the electoral districts were redrawn. A summary of the changes is listed below:

Result

The result was certified on February 15, 1961.  The Bijani National Party lost its single majority hold on the Chamber, but the newly-formed All-Bijani Union managed to take 44 of the 80 seats.  Considering the All-Bijani Union was dominated by the BNP, it effectively retained a parliamentary majority.  The rising support for the Social Democratic Party continued, and the SDP won 14 seats, an increase of four.  The Traditionalist Party and Country–Farmer–Labour, the two rural-interest parties, did well in opposite areas of the country, and won 10 seats between them.  The 80 deputies elected in this election convened for the first time on February 20, 1961.

By the next election, every party contesting seats would be a member of a joint list.  Joint lists would become a permanent staple feature of Bijani elections from this point forward.

Bijani Chamber of Deputies election, 1961: Summary
Party Votes  % ±% Seats +/-
All-Bijani Union1 1,480,225 50.9 9.7 Red Arrow Down 44 4 Red Arrow Down
  Bijani National Party 1,067,205 36.7 11.6 Red Arrow Down 34 7 Red Arrow Down
  Bijani Family–Christian Democrats 252,332 8.7 0.2 Red Arrow Down 8 1 Green Arrow Up Darker
  Pensioners Party 87,108 3.0 1.1 Green Arrow Up Darker 1 1 Green Arrow Up Darker
  Rise! 73,579 2.5 1.5 Green Arrow Up Darker 1 1 Green Arrow Up Darker
  Social Democratic Party 488,682 16.8 4.7 Green Arrow Up Darker 14 4 Green Arrow Up Darker
  Alliance of Dutch Voters 420,777 14.5 0.7 Green Arrow Up Darker 12 0 Straight Line Steady
  Traditionalist Party 211,539 7.3 1.0 Green Arrow Up Darker 6 1 Green Arrow Up Darker
  Country–Farmer–Labour 162,258 5.6 0.2 Red Arrow Down 4 1 Red Arrow Down
  Bijani Labour Party 84,359 2.9 2.9 Green Arrow Up Darker 0 0 Straight Line Steady
  Unity Party 33,215 1.1 0.5 Green Arrow Up Darker 0 0 Straight Line Steady
  New Bijan Party 24,281 0.8 0.1 Green Arrow Up Darker 0 0 Straight Line Steady
Valid Votes 2,905,336 89.0 0.5 Green Arrow Up Darker 80 0 Straight Line Steady
Invalid Votes 358,114 11.0 0.5 Red Arrow Down
Total Votes 3,263,450 100.0 0.0 Straight Line Steady
Electors/Turnout 3,923,711 83.2 2.3 Green Arrow Up Darker

1 The All-Bijani Union did not exist prior to 1961. The swing and seat changes are the sums of the constituent parties' results from the 1957 election.

Elections in Bijan
Presidential 1949195519611967197319791985199119972003
2009next
House of Representatives 1949195319571961196519691973197719811985
19891993199720012005200920132015next
Local 1950195419581962196619701974197819821986
19901994199820022006201020142016
Referenda 194519461947

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