Slaviša Orlović

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Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade.


The Influence of Electoral System on Party Fragmentation in Serbian Parliament

The subject of this paper is the impact of electoral system and other factors on high fragmentation of the Parliament in Serbia. Party system in Serbia is still not institutionalized, even after 25 years of the introduction of the multiparty system. Two-round majority system was applied in the first multiparty elections, and since 1992 the proportional system with the threshold of 5% and D’Hondt formula has been in force. Since 2011 Serbia has closed electoral lists and mandates are allocated by the predetermined order. However, after the last elections in 2014 the Parliament in Serbia will have around 20 political parties, unions and other organizations. These stakeholders appear on the electoral lists of the major political parties or in pre-electoral coalitions without graded electoral threshold and after entering the parliament form a separate parliamentary group, or distinguish themselves with their own identity, which leads to indirect parliamentarization and fragmentation of the parliament. This reflects on the complexity of the process of (coalition) government formation, but also on the functioning of the parliament. Frequent blackmails from the smaller political parties or changes in the behavior of actors reduce the predictability of actors’ actions and slow down the consolidation of democracy in Serbia.