The Parliament (Riksdagen) is the highest decision-making body in Sweden. Its 349 members are elected by the people.
The Parliament approves or rejects all important political decisions by voting.
The Parliament also checks that the Government is doing its job, and may remove the Government if the Parliament is not satisfied.
The work of the Parliament is led by the Speaker. The Speaker ranks below the King of Sweden, but above the Prime Minister. The Speaker submits his or her choice for Prime Minister to the Parliament. Unless more than half of the members of Parliament vote against the nominee of Speaker, the nominee is approved.
A candidate for the Parliament must be a member of a political party. The members of the party choose which persons will be candidates in the election to Parliament.
However, even persons who are not members of a party can vote for a person other than that party's candidates. This is called preference voting (personval).
How are the seats allocated?
When all the votes in the election have been counted, the seats in Parliament are allocated on the basis of how many votes the various parties received.
If a party receives less than four per cent of the votes, it will not get any seats in Parliament.