Elective monarchyAn elective monarchy is a monarchy whose reigning king or queen is elected in some form.
At the start of the 20th Century, several monarchs of newly-independent nations were elected by parliaments. Without a well-established hereditary royal family, new nations often chose their own monarchs from among the foreign or domestic nobility in hopes that a stable hereditary monarchy would eventually emerge from the process. The now-defunct royal families of Finland and Germany were originally appointed in this manner.
Other monarchs, such as the Shah of Iran have been required to undergo a parliamentary vote of approval before being allowed to ascend to the throne.
Currently, the world's only truly "elective monarchies" are in Malaysia, where the King is elected to a 5-year term by and from a small group of local hereditary rulers, and in Vatican City, where the Pope is elected to a life term by and (and usually from) the College of Cardinals.