Electoral Reform in Bolivia: Origins of the Mixed‐Member Proportional System

René Antonio Mayorga

in Mixed-Member Electoral Systems

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257683
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600241 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

 Electoral Reform in Bolivia: Origins of the Mixed‐Member Proportional System

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In 1994, Bolivia undertook a major constitutional and electoral reform, in which a closed‐list proportional representation (PR) system for the Lower House of the Congress was replaced by a mixed‐member proportional (MMP) system. Article 60 of the reformed constitution establishes that 68 deputies out of a constitutionally fixed number of 130 will be chosen by plurality rule in single‐seat districts, while the remaining 62 will be chosen by party‐list voting according to proportional representation in nine regional multi‐seat districts. This new electoral system establishes seats linkage between the two tiers such that the overall allocation of seats is determined proportionally according to list votes at the level of each multi‐seat district. In analyzing the underlying causes of the electoral reform in 1994, Mayorga first deals with the widely perceived fundamental problems and flaws of the traditional PR system and, second, addresses the main causes leading to the adoption of an MMP system, focusing on the context in which the politics of electoral reform was carried out.

Keywords: Bolivia; constitutional reform; electoral history; electoral reform; electoral systems; mixed‐member electoral systems; mixed‐member proportional systems; multi‐seat districts; plurality rule; proportional representation systems; seats linkage; single‐seat districts

Chapter.  6672 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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