In Yugoslavia, elections were held while it had existed as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the first one being in 1918 for the Provisional Popular Legislature of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (which was preceded by local elections of National Councils in former Austria-Hungary, including the elections in Vojvodina and Montenegro for local parliaments) and the last being the parliamentary (National Assembly and half of the Senate) election of 1938. Women were not eligible to vote. After the 1918 indirect ones, the 1920 parliamentary election was the first direct one. Parliamentary elections were held in 1923, 1925 and 1927, while with the new constitution a de facto Lower and Upper House were introduced in 1931 (the Senate next to the National Assembly). The 1931 elections were not free, as they were handled under a single-course dictatorship, while the 1935 and 1938 were held under limited basic democratic principles.
The country was occupied and broken up by the Axis Powers in 1941. After the war, a referendum between two political options in 1945, also being the only referendum held in the old Yugoslav state. It was also the first time that Yugoslavia introduced women's right to vote. The referendum was found dubious and criticized for taking place under even worse conditions than the previous elections. The League of Communists of Yugoslavia ran unopposed, and in turn promulgated a new Constitution in 1946 that abolished the monarchy and transformed the country into a Federative Republic, also ending multi-party elections.
Nevertheless, elections were held on several occasions. Candidates were, however, proposed only by the League of Communists or by the Socialist Alliance of Working People of Yugoslavia as formally non-partisan candidates. Originally, only one candidate was proposed to the electorate. The first elections were held on November 11, 1945, and the second in 1950. A new Federal Electoral Law was introduced on September 9, 1953, and it defined electoral units, the number of deputies in individual republics' parliaments, the candidate requirements (excluding party affiliation) etc. The number of candidates proposed to the electorate was also permitted to exceed one, allowing for competitive elections. This kind of elections were held in 1953, 1958, 1963, 1969, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, and 1989.
With the fall of Communism, a multi-party system was reintroduced in 1990. These were held in each of the constituent republics:
According to results, support for the former member parties of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia on the federal level at that point was between 35 and 40%.
Serbia and Montenegro remained together after the dissolution of Yugoslavia and kept its name until 2003, with the last remnant of Yugoslavia ending upon Montenegro's independence in 2006.
From 1974 to the dissolution of the country from 1990 to 1992, the Assembly was bicameral and was made up of a Federal Council and a Republican Council elected to four-year terms.
The Federal Council was elected by a complicated indirect delegate system through the popular front Socialist Alliance of Working People of Yugoslavia. The Federal Council was composed of 220 members. Its members were elected from the six republics (with 30 members each) and the two autonomous provinces (with 20 members each).
The Republican Council was composed of 88 members. Its members were elected from the six republics' assemblies (with 12 members each) and the two autonomous provinces' assemblies (with 8 members each). The deputies would then serve double mandates in their own assemblies and the Republican Council.
After elections an initial joint session of both councils of the Assembly would vote in a new Federal Executive Council, which also functioned on a four-year term.
Regular federal elections set for 1990 were never held before the country dissolved. Over the course of 1990 each constituent republic adopted democratic constitutions which allowed for political parties other than the League of Communists, and subsequently held multi-party elections. Due to the complicated political system, a new democratic electoral system could not be agreed upon by the Presidium (representing the republics, some of which were openly campaigning for independence and whose interest in Yugoslav reform was moot), the Executive Council (which had dissenting internal opinion about reform), and the Assembly itself which was made up of the old communist cadre.
|Year||Federal Council||Republican Council||Federal Presidium||Federal Executive Council||Central Committee SKJ|
|1974||16 March-29 April||-10 May||15 May||15 May||27–30 May (X)|
|1978||10 March-29 April||-10 May||15 May||20–23 June (XI)|
|1982||10 March-21 April||-10 May||15 May||26–29 June (XII)|
|1986||10 March-21 April||-10 May||15 May||25–28 June (XIII)|
|1989||15 May||16 March|
|1990||Not held||Not held||20-22 January (XIV)|