Elections in Erusia
Elections in the Democratic People's Republic of Erusia exist in multiple forms depending on the nature of the office or institution being elected. As with most Communist States, the Erusian electoral system is based largely upon Democratic Centralism and many elections are simply held for the sake of appearances, with all candidates for any office requiring the support of the Erusian National Communist Party. Elections at the bottom of the political ladder are generally considered to be free and fair, with independent candidates being allowed to stand, whilst those for more senior political postings are generally firmly controlled by the Communist Party which has it's own internal electoral processes. The Democratic People's Republic is nominally a Communist Democracy and the ENCP insists that the DPRE is a "free democratic republic in which all organs of government are bound to comply with the will of the People, who exercise their supreme authority through the democratic system as established by their revolutionary vanguard".
The Erusian electoral system has attracted a great deal of criticism. A number of political figures, both Erusian and foreign, have condemned what they perceive to be regular abuse of the system by the ruling Communist Party to cement their own political power. In the brief July 2009 Erusian Political Crisis, the Communist Party unilaterally invalidated the results of the July 2009 Erusian General Election to expell all opposition candidates from the national legislature and appoint ENCP legislators in their place. Although the Party asserts that this move has allowed for reform of the electoral system to a more democratic one, it has effectively ended all true democracy in Erusia. Nonetheless, with the vast majority of the population supporting the ENCP, others have expressed support for the ruling Communists on the grounds that those who disapprove of the system can simply leave Erusia and form their own nation (though the Party has thus far been unkind to those who express interest in doing so).
Elections to the National People's Assembly of Erusia occur once every six months and coincide with direct elections to all subordinate Congresses and People's Councils. Currently, legislative elections occur January and every July, one month before the Erusian National Communist Party holds the biannual chaired plenary sessions of it's governing National Congress. Originally elections to the National People's Assembly were held using a modified d'hondt system in which seats were allocated to political parties - now, in the single-party state, separate elections are held in each Administrative District with a number of candidates competing for that District's seats to the Assembly. Citizens of the District in question cast their vote using a Single Transferable Vote system, in which they rank the candidates of their choice in order of preference (excluding those they do not wish to be elected at all). The most popular candidates are elected - if a District has three seats and seven candidates, the top three of those seven will win the seats.
In order for an individual to stand for election, they must receive approval from the People's Electoral Commission, the organisation charged with regulating and conducting all elections in Erusia. Although any citizen or Type-C Special Resident may apply to stand in an election, the Commission will in practice only approve those who have the overall support of the Communist Party - as such, only those with strong political connections stand a chance in winning a seat in the Assembly. Generally speaking, election to the NPA is more a matter of unilateral appointment than actual fair election. Those who have served the ENCP faithfully or who are set to have a successful political career in Erusia are usually approved to stand against a token opposition with little popular support in the Party, effectively ensuring that the general public will vote for the preferred candidates. With the Electoral Commission being under Party control, it is also impossible to determine whether or not ballots have been tampered with to secure an outcome favourable to top ENCP leaders.
Premier and Supreme People's Commissioner
The Premier of the National People's Assembly of Erusia is, theoretically, elected by universal suffrage every General Election. As with legislators, the People's Electoral Commission must approve all candidates - as such, it is likely that the Commission will in future only ever approve a single candidate for each election based off decisions taken by top Party leaders regarding who should fill the office. Alternatively, the Commission may allow competetive elections in the form of the ENCP candidate versus a pro-ENCP Trade Unionist - irrespective of the outcome, the Party retains absolute power. Similarly, only one candidate is ever permitted to stand for the office of Supreme People's Commissioner of Erusia, which is elected by the Assembly. The Communist Party approves the candidate and puts their name before the NPA, who are expected to vote unaminously in favour of their election.