Elections to the Slovenian National Assembly

National Assembly elections are regulated by the Elections to the National Assembly Act. The right to vote is universal and equal, meaning that every citizen over the age of 18 is entitled to vote and to be elected regardless of their class, nationality, race, economic standing, etc. ‘Equal voting right’ relates to the active right to vote and means that every vote from every voter has the same value, that every voter has one vote only, and that no vote takes precedence over another. The sole exception to this principle is the voting right exercised by members of the Italian and Hungarian national communities: each community is represented by one deputy in the National Assembly, with the members of these communities being entitled to vote for other National Assembly deputies as well. 
 
The electoral procedure involves standing as a candidate, voting and the counting of votes to determine the outcome of an election. The procedure starts at a specified time with the calling of an election, when the start and end of the election procedure are determined. General elections to the National Assembly are called by the president of the republic.
 
At general elections, all deputies are elected at the same time. A distinction is drawn between regular elections (every four years upon expiry of the term of the parliament) and early elections (when the National Assembly is dissolved during the four-year parliamentary term).
 
General elections are re-run if irregularities arise during the electoral process or if elections that have already been held are annulled because of electoral irregularities.
 
Subsequent elections are elections held when a ballot was not held in an electoral unit or at a specific polling station on the day assigned for voting.
 
A by-election occurs when one or more deputies have to be elected because one or more parliamentary seats become vacant during a parliamentary term (i.e. a deputy’s term has been brought to an end). However, since Slovenian legislation states that elections to the National Assembly are to be held under the proportional representation system, the established rule is that by-elections are not held. Instead, when a deputy’s term comes to an end, they are replaced by that candidate from the list of candidates who would have been elected had the outgoing deputy not been elected at the general election.
 
Under Slovenia’s electoral legislation, candidates can be proposed by political parties or by voters.
 
The country is divided into eight electoral units for elections to the National Assembly. Each unit is divided into 11 districts; accordingly, each unit returns 11 deputies. The principle enshrined in law is that one candidate is elected in each electoral district. Special electoral units have been formed to serve those areas in which the Italian and Hungarian national communities reside.
 
Under the National Assembly Elections Act, the election threshold is 4%. Whether a party has reached that threshold is determined by the National Electoral Commission when the seats are apportioned. Seats are apportioned to party lists that have reached that threshold. This process takes places at two levels, as follows:
  • Within an electoral unit, seats are apportioned according to the Droop quota.
  • At the national level, seats are apportioned according to the D’Hondt method.
The Constitution states that voters must be permitted to exercise a certain influence over the allocation of seats to candidates; this is ensured in part by a process whereby those candidates who received the highest number of votes as a proportion of the total number of votes in the electoral districts in which they stood are elected from the list of candidates (relative to the seats received). Voters may only opt for that candidate from the list who stood for election in their voting district.