Libya’s electoral system

The elections for a constituent assembly in Libya on 7 July were apparently held under a Mixed-Member Majoritarian (MMM, or parallel) system. Results will not be available for a few days, but that won’t stop various parties from releasing their own claims.

There were 120 seats in a nominal tier, and 80 list seats.

I have a version of the law that someone sent me back in February. I do not know if it was subsequently amended or not. And, of course, it is a translation and may have lost something in the process. Update: David Jandura has much more, including that one region actually has no list seats. (I should have known to look there first!)

The version of the law that I have says that the 120 seats are “by majority system” but then indicates that if the constituency has one seat, it is “FPTP” and if it has more than one, it is “SNTV”. (The terms in quotation marks actually appear in the version I am reading.) Thus it is not a “majority system”, but that may just be poor translation. It is not clear to me how many districts have M=1 and how many M>1 and hence SNTV. It seems that parties could not formally endorse candidates in the nominal tier.

The list tier is districted, but I am unable to tell how many districts there are (and hence their average magnitude). The allocation formula is simple (Hare) quota with largest remainders. Lists are to alternate men and women, and are apparently closed.

Welcome to the wonderful world of electoral systems, Libyans!

6 thoughts on “Libya’s electoral system

  1. There are some interesting details about the Libyan election on David Jandura’s blog entry from July 4.

    He says (and I’m inclined to agree, although my thoughts are not based on experience while his are) that “I’m guessing it was less a grand plan than a set of many compromises.”

  2. The draft law I have says 200 (120+80).

    Jandura agrees: Nominal tier of 40 1-seat districts and 80 seats in M>1 districts (total nominal tier of 120), plus list tier of 80 seats.

  3. From the maps on this website ( it seems the situation is even more complicated. Not only does that region not have any PR seats, some of the nominal constituencies in other regions also have no PR representation. And the scope of the PR-constituencies also varies. Usually, it consists of a whole region and therefore several nominal-tier constituencies. But in other places, the very same constituencies are used, meaning they have a very dual representation. Libya is trying really hard to beat Egypt in electoral complexity…

  4. If the U.S. were supposed to use a mixed system for the Electoral College, it would be interesting!

    – There would be 102 list seats, the 2 “Senate” Electoral Votes of each state and D.C.
    – There would be 7 single-district seats from the 7 states with 1 “House” Electoral Vote+ the districts in Maine and Nebraska (making a total of 9 states with single-member districts, for a total of 12 single-seat district seats)
    – The remaining 424 “House” Electoral Votes would be decided in multi-seat districts, ranging from 2 to 7.

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