Elections to the National Council are regulated by a law passed by a two-thirds majority of all members. The term of office of members of the National Council is five years. Members are elected at indirect elections held within interest organisations or local communities by electoral bodies (electors).
Every citizen of Slovenia who has reached the age of 18 and has not been deprived of their contractual capacity by the day of the election has the right to vote and to be elected as a member of the National Council (Article 2). National Council members are not elected on the basis of general suffrage but of special suffrage, which is determined by law for each interest group and requires membership of a specific interest group or local community.
The right to vote and be elected as a member of the National Council is as follows:
- For representatives of employers, employees, farmers, crafts and trades, independent professions and non-commercial activities (functional interests), this right is held by people who perform or are employed in a relevant activity in Slovenia. Non-nationals who perform or are employed in a relevant activity in Slovenia elect members of the National Council from these interest groups under the same conditions as Slovenian citizens. However, they do not have a right to be elected to the National Council themselves;
- For representatives of local interests, this right is held by those with a permanent residence in the constituency. Member of the town council, who is a citizen of any other EU state has a right to vote, but cannot be elected to the National Council.
Under the principle of relative majority, the candidate with the most number of votes is elected. If two or more candidates receive the same number of votes, lots are drawn to decide who is elected.
Calling of elections
Elections to the National Council are called by the President of the National Assembly. General elections are called not earlier than 135 days and not later than 75 days before the end of the five-year term of office. The period between the calling of elections and election day may not exceed 90 days or be shorter than 60 days. By-elections at which only individual members of the National Council are elected whose term of office is terminated before the end of the National Council's five-year mandate are held not later than 75 days after the termination of the member's term of office.
A mandate may be terminated if the member:
- loses the right to vote,
- becomes permanently incapable to hold the office,
- is sentenced by final court judgement to a unconditional prison sentence of six months or more,
- assumes an office incompatible with that of a National Council,
- resigns from office,
- in other cases provided by law.
A member's term of office is terminated on the day the National Council establishes that one or more of the above reasons exist. In the case of the third indent above, the member's term of office shall not be terminated if the National Council concludes that he/she is capable of performing his/her duties as a member..
Election of representatives of functional interests
The election of 18 members - representatives of functional interests is carried out by electors sitting on electoral boards. Representatives of the electorate (electors) are elected by interest organisations in accordance with their own rules of procedure.
National Council candidates are chosen by interest organisations in accordance with their own rules of procedure:
- four members - representatives of employers are elected by chambers of commerce and industry and employers' associations organized in the territory of the state,
- four members - representatives of employees are elected by representative trade unions organized in the territory of the state,
- four members - representatives of farmers, crafts and trades and independent professions are elected as follows:
- two representatives of farmers are elected by the professional farmers' organisation organized in the territory of the state,
- one representative of crafts and trades is elected by the professional crafts and trade organisation organized in the territory of the state,
- one representative of independent professions is elected by the professional organisation of other independent professions organised in the territory of the state;
- six members - representatives of non-commercial fields are elected in the following manner:
- one representative of universities, colleges and junior colleges is elected by universities, colleges and junior colleges,
- one representative of care and education is elected by professional organisations of the teaching staff,
- one representative of research activities is elected by professional research organisations,
- one representative of culture and sports is elected by professional organisations of cultural workers and workers in sports,
- one representative of heath care is elected by professional organisations of medical professionals and medical associates,
- one representative of social care is elected by professional organisations of professionals in social care.
Election of representatives of local interests
Local communities elect 22 members of the National Council to serve as representatives of local interests. No more than 22 constituency, which may cover one or more local communities, are formed for the election of representatives of local interests. Slovenia is divided into 22 constituency. These are contiguous areas in terms of territory, history and interest.
An electoral body is formed for each constituency, comprising:
- members of the representative local community body, if the National Council members are elected in constituency covering a single local community;
- elected representatives of local communities if the National Council members are elected in constituency covering two or more local communities; representatives of local communities are elected by their representative bodies.
Representative local community bodies (municipal councils) adopt rules of procedure applying to the election of their representatives to electoral bodies and the election of candidates to the National Council. Municipal councils elect electors and candidates for the National Council by secret ballot.
Under the National Council Act, every local community (municipality) may nominate one National Council candidate. Each municipality has one place in the electoral body regardless of number of inhabitants, plus one further place for every additional 5,000 inhabitants.