Sweden - Constitution



{ Adopted on: 1 Jan 1975 }

{ ICL Document Status: 1989 }



{ Editor's Note

The frequency of ordinary elections has been changed from 3 to 4 years by Law No. 1469 of 1994 (see Chapter 3 Article 3). We have not yet verified if there were any other amendments between 1989 and 1998. }


Chapter 3 The Parliament

Article 1

(1) The Parliament is appointed by free, secret and direct elections.

(2) The Parliament consists of one chamber comprising three hundred and forty-nine members. Alternates shall be appointed for all members.

Article 2

(1) Every Swedish citizen residing in Sweden is entitled to vote in Parliament elections. Provisions are laid down in law regarding the voting rights of Swedish citizens who are not resident in Sweden. No one who has not attained the age of 18 years on or before election day is entitled to vote.

(2) Any question of whether a right to vote exists under Paragraph (1) shall be determined on the basis of a voters' roll drawn up before the election.

Article 3

Ordinary elections for the Parliament shall be held every fourth year.

Article 4

(1) The Government may order an extra election to be held between ordinary elections. Extra elections shall be held within three months of the issue of such an order.

(2) After an election for the Parliament has been held, the Government is debarred from issuing an order for an extra election until three months have elapsed from the first meeting of the newly-elected Parliament. Nor may the Government issue an order for an extra election while ministers retain their posts, after having all been formally discharged, pending the assumption of office by a new Government.

(3) Provisions concerning an extra election in a particular case are set forth in Chapter 6, Article 3.

Article 5

(1) A newly-elected Parliament assembles on the fifteenth day after election day but no sooner than the fourth day after the result of the election has been declared.

(2) Each election is valid for the period running from the day on which the newly-elected Parliament convenes until the Parliament elected next - thereafter convenes. This period is the electoral period of the Parliament.

Article 6

(1) Sweden is divided into constituencies for the purpose of elections to the Parliament.

(2) The Parliament is made up of three hundred and ten permanent constituency seats and thirty-nine adjustment seats.

(3) The permanent constituency seats are distributed among the constituencies on the basis of a calculation of the relationship between the number of those entitled to vote in each constituency and the total number of persons entitled to vote in the entire country. This distribution between constituencies is fixed for three years at a time.

Article 11

(1) Appeals against elections for the Parliament may be lodged with an Election Review Committee appointed by the Parliament. A person who has been elected a member of the Parliament shall exercise his function regardless of any such appeal. If the result of the election is revised, a new member takes his seat as soon as the revised result has been announced. The foregoing applies equally to alternates.

(2) The Election Review Committee comprises a chairman, who must be currently, or have been previously, a permanent judge and who must not be a member of the Parliament, and six other members. The members are elected after each ordinary election, as soon as the result of the election becomes final, and serve until new elections for the Committee have been held. There is no right of appeal against a decision of the Committee.

Chapter 6 The Government

Article 3

If the Parliament rejects the Speaker's proposal the procedure laid down in Article 2 shall be resumed. If the Parliament rejects the Speaker's proposal four times in succession, the procedure for appointing a Prime Minister is discontinued and resumed only after an election for the Parliament has been held. Unless ordinary elections must in any case be held within three months, an extra election shall be held within that same period.

Article 5

If the Parliament declares that the Prime Minister or any other Minister no longer enjoys its confidence, the Speaker shall discharge the Minister concerned. When the Government is in a position to order an extra election, however, no decision shall be made to discharge the Minister if the Government issues an order for an extra election within one week from the declaration of no confidence.


Article 4

Provisions concerning consultative referenda throughout the whole of the country and concerning the procedure for holding referenda on matters concerning the fundamental laws shall be laid down by an Act of law.

Article 15

(1) A fundamental law shall be adopted by means of two decisions of identical wording. The second decision may not be taken until elections for the Parliament have been held throughout the country following the first decision, and the newly-elected Parliament has been convened. Not less than nine months shall furthermore elapse between the time when the matter was first submitted to the Chamber of the Parliament and the time of the election, unless the Constitutional Committee of the Parliament grants an exemption from this provision by means of a decision taken not later than the Committee stage, and in which no fewer than five sixths of the members concur.

(2) The Parliament may not adopt as a decision in suspense any Bill on a fundamental law which conflicts with any other draft legislation of the same nature which is held in suspense, unless the Parliament at the same time rejects the Bill it first adopted.

(3) A referendum shall be held on a decision held in suspense for an amendment of a fundamental law on a motion to this effect by no fewer than one tenth of the members of the Parliament, provided that no fewer than one third of the members vote in favor of the motion. Such a motion must be made within fifteen days from the date on which the Parliament adopted the Bill held in suspense. Such a motion shall not go for consideration by any Committee of the Parliament.

(4) The referendum shall be held simultaneously with the election for the Parliament referred to in Paragraph (1). All those entitled to vote in the election may declare in the referendum whether or not they accept the Bill on the fundamental law which is pending decision. The Bill shall be deemed to be rejected, if the majority of those taking part in the referendum vote against the proposal, and if the number of voters exceeds half the number of those who registered valid votes in the election. In all other cases the Parliament shall take up the Bill for final consideration.

Article 12

(1) If the country is at war, elections for the Parliament may be held only at the Parliament's decision. If the Realm is exposed to the danger of war when ordinary elections are due to be held, the Parliament may decide to defer the elections. Such a decision shall be reconsidered within one year and at intervals thereafter not exceeding one year. Decisions under the present paragraph shall be effective only if no fewer than three fourths of the total membership of the Parliament concur therein.

(2) If any part of the country is under foreign occupation when elections are to be held, the Parliament shall approve whatever modification of the provisions of Chapter 3 is called for. No exceptions may however be made from the provisions of Chapter 3, Article 1 (1), 2, 6 (1), or 7 to 11. Any reference to the country or Realm in the provisions of Chapter 3, Article 6 (1), 7 (2) or 8 (2) shall apply instead to that part of the country for which elections are to be held. No fewer than one tenth of all the seats shall be adjustment seats.

(3) Ordinary elections not held at the time prescribed in consequence of the provisions of Paragraph (1) shall be held as soon as possible after the war ends or the danger of war subsides. It shall be incumbent upon the Government and the Speaker, either jointly or severally, to ensure that the necessary measures are taken.

(4) If, in consequence of the provisions of the present article, an ordinary election has been held at a time other than that at which it should otherwise have been held, the Parliament shall set the date of the next following ordinary election for that month during the third or fourth year following the first-named election in which an ordinary election was due to be held in accordance with the Parliament Act.