Reserved political positions

From Academic Kids

Several politico-constitutional arrangements use reserved political positions, especially when endeavoring to ensure the rights of minorities or preserving a political balance of power. These arrangements distort the democratic principle of one man - one vote in order to address special circumstances.

For example:

  • Pakistan reserves a fixed number of parliamentary seats for non-Muslims.
  • New Zealand reserves a proportion of its parliamentary seats for the representation of persons electing to register on a separate Maori roll. The number of seats depends upon the number of people on the roll — there are currently seven. See Maori seats.
  • Lebanon specifies the religious affiliation of several of its high officers, such as the President and the Prime Minister.
  • Fiji provides for the election of specific numbers of Members of Parliament on the basis of three racially-defined constituencies: the indigenous Fijians, the Fijian Indians and the "General" electorate.
  • Poland's constitution guarantees the parliamentary representation of ethnic minorities.
  • The former East Germany had blocs of parliamentary seats reserved for representatives of women, trade unions and youth organisations.

As of March 2004, proposed constitutional arrangements for the future government of Iraq included a parliamentary bloc reserved for women.

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