Electoral system means the procedure for granting the right to vote, the totality of all legal norms, which regulates the holding of elections and referendums and the determination of the voting results.

If we look closely at the world experience, we can see that elections were formed in earlier periods, and over time the electoral system has improved to the modern level.

Therefore, we decided to give an idea of ​​the types of electoral systems.

Throughout the history, the electoral system has manifested itself in several forms. And the countries of the world, taking into account the possibilities, chose for themselves a suitable electoral system. In international practice, at present, three types of electoral systems are mainly used - majoritarian, proportional and mixed electoral systems.

1. Speaking about the majoritarian electoral system, imply the direct election of a candidate by voters in a single-mandate constituency and in the manner prescribed by law, on the basis of a relative, absolute and qualified majority of votes.

That is, whoever received the most votes is considered to be elected. Votes for other candidates lose their validity.

The word majoritarian comes from the French word "majorite", meaning "majority."

The majoritarian electoral system is the system formed earlier than all others.

Now let's consider what types of voting are used in the majoritarian electoral system.

The relative majority of the majoritarian electoral system is the simplest form of voting; the candidate who receives the largest number of votes of voters is considered elected.

The absolute majority of the majoritarian electoral system - here the candidate is considered elected if he has received more than half of the votes of the voters who took part in the voting.

Qualified majority of the majoritarian electoral system - being the rarest form of voting, the candidate who receives the majority of votes established by law is considered elected.

In Turkmenistan, the elections of the President of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the velayat, etrap, city Halk maslahaty and Gengeshes, held in single-mandate constituencies, use a majoritarian electoral system with an absolute majority, that is, the candidate who receives more than half (50% + 1) of votes is considered elected.

This norm of the majority electoral system of the absolute majority is established in the first paragraph of clause 3 of Article 76 of the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan.

2. A proportional electoral system is held only in multi-member constituencies by voting for parties and for a list of candidates.

Here a minimum (barrier) percentage is established that allows parties to receive a certain number of votes throughout the country in order to receive a deputy mandate. Parties that have not received a certain percentage of the vote cannot receive a mandate.

The proportional electoral system was first used in 1889 in Belgium. This electoral system is currently used in several European countries, and in general, in parliamentary elections in more than 60 countries around the world.

The aforementioned proportional electoral system is divided into two - a semi-proportional electoral system and a single transferable vote system.

A semi-proportional electoral system is designed on a majority basis, meaning a certain degree of legal capacity for representation and voters with the requirement to obtain a majority of votes to be elected.

This case is achieved through the application of the so-called limited vote (limited number of votes), where the voter votes not for the number of candidates equal to the number of deputies to be elected from the constituency, but for a specific candidate or a specific number of candidates.

A limited vote requires political parties to be careful when nominating their candidates. One must be well aware of how many votes the party electorate has and how they can be distributed among the candidates from the party.

If a party nominates too many candidates in a constituency, the votes of its electorate will be split between them, and it may happen that none will be elected.

At the same time, if there are few candidates, then they can get more votes than they need to be elected, and these extra votes do not give the party anything. It will be more useful if they use these votes judiciously to elect another candidate.

This means that a voter does not choose a general list of candidates when voting in multi-member constituencies, but votes separately for one or more candidates from a multi-mandate constituency.

As a result, deputies are elected with a direct vote of the electorate, rather than those appointed by the parties in the constituency. That is why such electoral systems are called semi-proportional.

The option of using a single transferable vote system in elections is considered the fairest, since it allows a combination of personal choice with ensuring the proportional representation of parties.

However, its diffusion is hindered by the technical complexity of determining the election results.

Parties nominate candidates in multi-member constituencies as needed. That is, each party can nominate as many candidates as it deems necessary.

When voting, the voter acts as in the majority system. The voter marks the first mark next to the last name of the most desirable candidate, then the second mark next to the last name of the next candidate, and then may continue in the same order.

After establishing the total number of voters or the total number of valid ballots, the electoral quota is determined. The ballots are then arranged into bundles, taking into account the first preferences expressed to certain candidates. Candidates who receive the specified number of votes (quota) are considered elected.

However, usually such candidates receive a certain surplus of votes in excess of the quota, which they do not need. This surplus is passed on to candidates who did not receive a quota in accordance with the second preference.

3. A mixed electoral system arises when different electoral systems are used on the elections of the same chamber of representatives, that is, when elections are held by combining the characteristics of the majoritarian and proportional electoral systems.

This electoral system presupposes a combination of the productive and beneficial aspects of various systems in order to minimize the disadvantages that each of them individually possesses.

This type of electoral system is used for elections to the Bundestag in Germany and in several other countries, including the Russian Federation.

In a mixed electoral system, a direct vote for a candidate can be held in a single-mandate constituency, and in a federal (multi-mandate) constituency it can be voted for any party list.

Thus, in international practice, each state uses the electoral system and the majority of votes inherent in its political life.


Maksatmyrat Geldiev,
chief specialist of the Organizational department of Central commission for holding elections and referendums in Turkmenistan.