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Bijan elects a legislature on the national level. The Bijani House of Representatives has 245 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation. A head of state, the President of the Republic, is elected for a six-year term by the House of Representatives, or by the Electoral Assembly should the House fail to elect a president in three rounds of balloting. Local government elections take place every four years, and each of Bijan's 561 municipalities has a local government council.

Bijan has a multi-party system with numerous parties. Often, no single party has the chance to govern alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.

Elections to the House of Representatives

Elections to local government councils

Locally, Bijan elects local government councils, which vary in size. Election law states the minimum size of a council depending on the population of the municipality. Local government councils are also elected by proportional representation.

Elections to local government councils take place on the first Sunday in March of the next calendar year following a general election. The most recent round of local elections took place on March 2, 2014, and the next round is scheduled for March 4, 2018. If the House of Representatives is dissolved ahead of schedule, and an extraordinary election is held prior to the end of its four-year term, local elections will be moved up to take place the following March, to keep the cycle in sync. Local government councils cannot otherwise dissolve themselves prior to the end of their terms.

The minimum number of members a local government council must have is 7. As the population of a municipality increases, its council must also increase:

  • Population 1,999 or below: at least 7 members
  • Population 2,000–4,999: at least 13 members
  • Population 5,000–9,999: at least 17 members
  • Population 10,000–49,999: at least 21 members
  • Population 50,000–299,999: at least 31 members
  • Population 300,000 and above: at least 79 members.

The procedure for electing local government councils is largely the same as the procedure for electing the House of Representatives; elections are held under open-list proportional representation. Unlike the House of Representatives however, which consists of members elected from multi-member constituencies, most of Bijan's local government councils consist of members elected from the entire municipality at large. Only the larger municipalities are divided into constituencies. Those that are also make use of leveling seats in a similar manner as the House of Representatives.

In local elections, political parties file lists of candidates for each council to which they seek election. Electors each cast a single vote for an individual candidate, and the number of votes each candidate receives determines his or her ranking on the party's list, and thus the order in which he or she will win a seat. The order the candidates were pre-ranked on the party's list is used only as a tiebreak in the event two candidates receive the same number of votes.

Referenda

The Constitution of Bijan gives the Bijani House of Representatives the power to submit a bill or other national issue to a referendum. The result of the vote is binding. If a bill which is submitted to a referendum does not receive a majority of votes in favor, the President of the Republic shall declare an extraordinary election to the House of Representatives.

There are some issues which cannot be submitted to a referendum, including issues regarding the budget, taxation, financial obligations of the state, ratification and denunciation of international treaties, the declaration or termination of a state of emergency, or national defense.

Some parts of the Constitution can be amended only by a referendum. These parts cover the Constitution's general provisions, and the procedure for amending the Constitution itself. The remaining parts of the constitution can be amended by one of the following:

  • a referendum;
  • two successive sessions of the House of Representatives, separated by a general election;
  • one session of the House of Representatives, as a matter of urgency.

A three-fifths majority of the membership of the House (currently 147 of 245) is required to submit a bill to amend the Constitution by referendum.


Elections in Bijan
Presidential 1949195519611967197319791985199119972003
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House of Representatives 1949195319571961196519691973197719811985
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Local 1950195419581962196619701974197819821986
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Referenda 194519461947

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