Indirect election

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Indirect election is a process in which voters in an election do not choose between candidates for an office but rather elect persons who will then make the choice. It is one of the oldest form of elections and is still used today for many upper houses and presidents.

Some examples of indirectly elected bodies and individuals include:

Many republics with parliamentary systems elect their president indirectly (Germany, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, India, Israel).

In a Westminster system, the leader of the majority party in the parliament almost always becomes the prime minister. Therefore, it could be said that the prime minister is elected indirectly.

In Spain, the Congress of Deputies votes on a motion of confidence of the king's nominee (customarily the party leader whose party controls the Congress) and the nominee's political manifesto, an example of an indirect election of the Prime Minister of Spain.

Indirect political elections have been used for lesser national offices, as well. In the United States, most members of the Senate were elected by the legislatures of the states until 1913, when the Seventeenth Amendment instituted direct elections for those office-holders. In France, election to the upper house of Parliament, the Sénat, is indirect, with the electors (called "grands électeurs") being local elected representatives.

The Electoral College of the United States, whose task is to elect a president, is a form of indirect election. However, electors rarely change their actual vote from their pledged vote, and this factor has never made the difference in an election.

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