Election of Members of Parliament

Specific Provisions

Members of Parliament are elected for a term of five (5) years by universal suffrage, by direct and secret ballot.They are eligible for re-election.

All seats in the National Assembly are renewed every five (5) years and elections are held not later than forty (40) days to the expiry of the term of office of Members of Parliament.

The National Assembly has one hundred and eighty (180) members voted thanks to a system whereby,a list of candidates is selected without voters indicating any preference of candidates and neither is there transfer of candidates from one list to another.The lists in question are submitted by each political party existing legally and willing to take part in the election in a given constituency. The lists which must be complete,must have the same number of candidates chosen from its members as the seats to be filled. As the case is,a division constitutes an electoral constituency with one or more seats to be filled.The constitution of each list takes into consideration the various sociological components of the constituency concerned.It also takes into consideration gender aspects.

However, certain electoral constituencies could be warded on the grounds of their peculiar situation by a decree of the President of the Republic. As such, a decree by the President of the Republic fixes the number of members representing each constituency.

The Members of Parliament are elected through a mixed single round ballot, comprising a majority system and a proportional representation system.

However, in constituencies having only one seat, voting shall be for a single candidate.

After the Ballot

In single member constituencies, the candidate with a majority of the votes cast shall be declared elected.Should there be a tie,the eldest candidate shall be declared elected.

In constituencies where the list system is applicable , the list that obtains an absolute majority of the votes cast shall win all the seats available.

If no list obtains an absolute majority of the votes cast,the seats shall be shared as follows:

  • the list with the highest number of votes shall be allocated half of the seats rounded off, if need be, to the nearest whole number above.
  • where there is a tie between two (2) or more lists, the number of seats rounded off to the nearest whole number above shall be allocated to the list with the highest average age.
  • the remaining seats shall be allocated to the other lists through the application of proportional representation to the lists with the highest votes.
  • where there is a tie in the number of votes, the seat(s) shall be allocated to the list with the highest age.

Lists which obtain less than 5% of the votes cast in the constituency concerned shall not be eligible for the proportional distribution of seats.

Seats shall be allocated to candidates in the order in which they appear on each list.

For every seat to be filled, there shall be a substantive candidate and an alternate candidate, both of whom shall go before the electorate at the same time.

After their election, and in all cases of vacancy other than death of the substantive member, the alternate shall take the seat of the Member of Parliament at the National Assembly until the expiry of the latter's term.

Where one or more seats become vacant in a constituency either because of the death, resignation of the substantive or alternate member, or for any other reason, by-elections shall be held within a period of twelve (12) months following the occurence of the vacancy.

By-elections shall be held in the electoral constituency in the manner specified above.

Where a seat becomes definitively vacant in an electoral constituency with many seats, there shall be a single ballot.

Only political parties that take part in the general elections in the constituency shall be allowed to take part in the by-elections.

No by-election shall be held if the vacancy occurs less than a year before the end of the legislative period.


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