Electoral Systems and Political Transformation in by Sarah Birch (auth.)

By Sarah Birch (auth.)

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It is a two-vote mixed system in three Post-Communist Electoral Systems: Design and Measurement 43 tiers. The bottom tier consists of 176 single-member district seats elected by absolute majority in two rounds. In addition to an SMD vote, the voter also votes for a regional list (in one of the 20 regional districts). The list seats are distributed according to a complex semi-compensatory two-tier formula, with a national threshold (4 per cent in 1990, 5 per cent ther after). Georgia Georgia was the second country after Bulgaria to adopt an unlinked mixed system.

In diverse and new states such as Armenia, Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine it is the single-member systems and the single-member components of mixed systems that have led to the representation of the largest absolute number of parties, and the list systems, with their typically high thresholds, have been most exclusionary. Likewise, the characteristic tendency in established 22 Electoral Systems and Political Transformation democracies for single-member systems to generate small numbers of parliamentary parties does not appear to be operative throughout the region (Moser, 1997, 1999; Birch, 2000).

By all accounts, the parliamentary elections of 1996 failed to live up to even the minimum standards necessary for them to be classified as 'free and fair', and repeat polls were held the following year. After careful consideration, it was decided best to exclude the 1996 elections from the dataset rather than to lose the Albanian case altogether. The 1997 elections will therefore be referred to in subsequent chapters as the 'third' Albanian elections (following the electoral events of 1991 and 1992).

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