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The Swedish electoral system

The Swedish electoral system is based on universal suffrage. Elections are to be free, secret and direct.

The electoral system used is proportional representation; consequently, the share of seats any party receives in the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) generally reflects the share of all the votes received by that party.

The Swedish electoral system consists of elections and referendums. The Elections Act, the Elections Ordi-nance, the Referendums Act and a number of other laws stipulate how elections and referendums are to be carried out.

Parliamentary elections

Elections to the Riksdag, municipal and county councils are held on the second Sunday in September every four years.

All European Union member states hold elections to the European Parliament in the period between April and July every five years. In Sweden these elections are always held on a Sunday.

Extraordinary elections

Extraordinary elections to the Riksdag are carried out as and when the Riksdag takes such a decision. In principle the same rules apply here as they do for the parliamentary election. An extraordinaryelection must, according to the system of government, be implemented within three months of the decision. Consequently, time periods for advance voting etc. are shorter than at general elections.

Municipal and county extraordinary elections are carried out if the relevant assembly makes such a decision. Extraordinary elections must be held if at least two-thirds of the members vote in favour of it. But – a decision on extraordinary elections may not be made until six months after an ordinary election.

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