I was browsing the Wikipedia article on Voting age and the following map struck me. The colours refer to different ages, full legend here:

map with voting ages

Regardless of other restrictions (only men, only one party, etc.), this map seems to show every single country in the world has some form of elections.

Is there any country with no elections at all?

See also: Are there countries considered socialist that do NOT have parlaments and elections?

  • 3
    elections of what kind? to select the government only? or any kind of election? Dec 9, 2012 at 18:28
  • Any kind of officially sanctioned election.
    – gerrit
    Dec 9, 2012 at 18:30
  • The Vatican does have elections, just only cardinals get to vote for the Pope. And since the entire population are employees of the Catholic Church, it's not too far off- anyone inhabitant who doesn't like the system could quit their job, and they would no longer be a Vatican citizen
    – user2399
    Jan 6, 2014 at 4:32

4 Answers 4


Based on this Wiki article and its links:

  • Brunei seems to have no elections (see details in @gerrit's asnwer)

  • Qatar has no elections. But this will presumably no longer be true in 2013

    he Consultative Assembly (Majlis as-Shura) has 35 appointed members with only consultative tasks. However, the 2003 Constitution of Qatar calls for a 45 member elected Legislature, which is to be made up of 30 elected representatives and 15 appointed by the Emir. In 2006, Prime Minister Al Thani – then the Deputy PM – announced that elections would be held in 2007. However, only a legislative council to review the subject was created that year. The actual elections have been postponed three times; most recently in June 20103, when the Emir extended the Consultative Assembly's tenure until 2013

  • Oman is kind of an edge case. You can make arguments that it has elections, and arguments that it does not - the actual process is caucuses selecting representatives, and Sultan appointing them; and the parliamentary body has no true legislative powers either.

  • Saudi Arabia only has municipal level elections, but not country level.

  • Somalia didn't have elections between 1980 and 2012. No longer true as they held an election in 2012.

  • UAE (United Arab Emirates) is another reason to quibble.

    The Federal National Council (al-Majlis al-Watani al-Ittihadi) is the UAE’s legislative body and consists of 40 members. Half are appointed by the rulers of their respective emirates, and hold all of the council's political power. The other half, who have only advisory tasks and serve two-year terms, are elected by a 6,689-member electoral college whose members are appointed by the emirates.


The answer depends on "in theory" or "in practice". Although in theory, elections in Brunei exist, there haven't been any for a long time. According to the Wikipedia article on Politics in Brunei:

Under the 1959 constitution there was an elected Legislative Council (Malay: Majlis Mesyuarat Negera), but only one election has ever been held, in 1962. Soon after that election, the assembly was dissolved following the declaration of a state of emergency, which saw the banning of the Brunei People's Party. In 1970 the Council was changed to an appointed body by decree of the Sultan. In 2004 the Sultan announced that for the next parliament, fifteen of the 20 seats would be elected. However, no date for the election has been set.


I want to add something to the excellent answer by DVK.

  • Vatican has no elections. The city officials are appointed by the Pope, who is elected by cardinals. The cardinals it turn are appointed by the pope.

  • Antarctica is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System. Its administration, the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat located in Buenos Aires is headed by Executive Secretary. He is appointed for a four-year term by the foreign powers, who are signatories to the treaty, at Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings.

  • 3
    Not sure if Antarctica counts (it's not a country). Good call on Vatican though
    – user4012
    Sep 18, 2013 at 13:59
  • 5
    Aren't you self-contradictory? If the Vatican has no elections, how is there an election for Pope?
    – Bobson
    Jan 9, 2014 at 14:47
  • 2
    @Bobson the question was about popular elections, it was stated clear by the asker.
    – Anixx
    Jan 9, 2014 at 20:19

Eritrea hasn't had any elections practically since its independence in 1991.

  • Erithrea is not a great example. They have local and regional elections, for sure. They also have a law and a plan for national elections, but in practice postponed them due to conflict with Ethiopia. That was why I excluded Erithrea from my answer.
    – user4012
    Dec 22, 2012 at 4:32
  • 1
    The war with Ethiopia was 10 years ago. Plus, local and regional elections is not the OP's question.
    – samayo
    Dec 22, 2012 at 4:38
  • 2
    And, it is Eritrea.
    – samayo
    Dec 22, 2012 at 4:39
  • 3
    Please add the source to your claim. Even while it was referenced by DVK in the comments it would make a better answer if you would include the original ref. Dec 22, 2012 at 16:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .