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Indirect election is a process in which voters in an election don't actually 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. This process is also used in many union elections and sometimes in professional, civic, and fraternal organizations.

Many countries with parliamentary systems elect their president indirectly (Germanymarker, Italymarker, Czech Republicmarker, Estoniamarker, Latviamarker, Hungarymarker).

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 Spainmarker, 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 President of the Government of Spain.

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

The Electoral College of the United Statesmarker, whose task is to elect a president, is a form of indirect election. However, electors rarely change their actual vote from their pledged vote. Although historically some electors have changed their pledge vote (referred to as faithless electors), this has never made a difference in any presidential election up to 2008.

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