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Can a political party prevent their members for running for office. For example, if a political party does not want to contest a seat for a some reason, can they forbid their members from running?

I assume the option for the party is just to expel the member of the party so they would be running as an independent if they ran against the party wishes. Are things set up so that the party can expel such members and always prevent their party name from appearing on the ballot if they so wish?

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This would depend on the country - in the UK, for example, a candidate representing a party must submit a certificate from the constituency branch of the party in question, confirming that they are authorised to do so, and are the party's official candidate.

My understanding is that, in the USA, this is not the case, and a candidate need only state what party they represent, but this may vary from state to state.

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In the US... not directly. One simply announces that they are with a given party. There really isn't a formal registration and membership process. In the absence of a formal membership, the party can't really expel someone.

However, as we saw with Bernie Sanders in 2016, there are ways to eliminate a candidate that is not fully endorsed by the party. Even when it's to the party's detriment, they can still do that.

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