Is there any country that has constitutional or national law that prevents any party from holding an absolute majority for too long? Examples of various ways how it can be implemented:

  1. If a party wins an absolute majority for more than n consecutive terms, it receives exactly half of the seats, while the other half is proportionally distributed between other parties.
  2. Some coefficients applied to votes party receive in current election.
  3. If party receives absolute majority, all its current members in legislature can't be reelected in the next consequent term.

Is there anything of this manner in the world?

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    Why would any country want such a mechanism? If the majority of the voters want one particular party, who would benefit from giving power to parties that most people don't want? Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 0:33
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    Some countries do have a similar mechanism, but not at 50%. E.g. In Singapore, the majority party is not allowed to hold more than 90 of the 100 seats in parliament. For over 50 years, since the founding of the country, one party has held the vast majority of seats. Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 0:39
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    @RayButterworth for the same reason most countries have term limits for elected politicians. In theory they need to win election every time to get into the office, but we still limit the number of terms (at least consequent terms) that they can be elected in order to avoid corruption. Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 3:35
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    Term limits. After FDR won 4 times in a row, the Republicans put in term limits to stop that from happening again. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


The closest example I can think of is Singapore's Non-Constituency MP and Nominated MP systems. Singapore is a single party democracy that uses a UK-style constituency system. In 2015 the ruling PAP party won 83 contested seats, compared to just 6 for the WP opposition (and none for anyone else). However, WP were awarded an additional 3 non-constituency MPs reserved for the best performing losers among the opposition parties. Additionally there are 9 MPs nominated directly by a Special Select Committee and unaffiliated with any party. Both systems were introduced (in 1984 and 1990) explicitly in order to bring more independent voices into parliament.

That said, it can be argued that these are simply trying to compensate for the non-proportionality of Singapore's first past the post system. PAP's 82% share of the total seats (contested and uncontested) was still more than their 70% share of the popular vote.


I think the answer is no. There are some Venice commission reports on term limits (one on presidential and one on other limits, including legislature), which don't mention anything like you ask about. Most countries don't even limit the re-election of MPs, by the way, although some do.

Furthermore, it's not easy to see how one can make such a term-limit mechanism effective at party levels, given that parties can be renamed or actually re-formed with largely the same people and ideology. There are more experiences with banning parties partied altogether, only to have them come back in a slightly different form, but with substantially the same ideology. Turkey's AKP predecessor, the Virtue Party is a good example of this difficulty; the Virtue Party was banned, and it technically split in two parties after that, although one wing was rather insignificant. According to one account the AKP actually went through five "incarnations".

All previous Islamist parties in Turkey had been shut down by either military intervention or rulings by the constitutional court: The National Order Party, founded in 1970, was banned by the Constitutional Court in 1971. The National Salvation Party, founded in 1972, was outlawed after the 1980 military coup. The Welfare Party, founded in 1983, was banned by the Constitutional Court in 1998. The Virtue Party, founded in 1997, was banned in 2001.

The AKP formally rejects being called a Muslim or Islamic, instead calling their ideology “conservative democracy”. So some similar level of re-labeling can probably be envisaged if a party was banned from from holding power due to party-level term limits.

Probably a "soft" version of what you're proposing is proportional representation, which "dilutes" the majority that a dominating party would have in a first past the post system.

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