Obligation

Freedom of Association

International and regional treaties protect freedom of association.[1] Freedom of association is critical in the context of political parties and campaign activities and includes the ability to freely establish political parties. Restrictions must be prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society.[2] These include those in the interests of:

  • National security;[3]
  • Public safety;[4]
  • Public order (ordre public);[5]
  • Public health and morals;[6]
  • The protection of the rights and freedoms of others.[7]

Restrictions on freedom of association—on the basis that ideas that are not favorable to the government will be promoted—are unreasonable.[8] Lawful restrictions on the freedom of association may be placed on members of the armed forces and police.[9] Interpretation offered by the U.N. Human Rights Committee makes it clear that some individual rights can also be enjoyed in groups with others.[10] This is critical to an understanding of freedom of association with regard to the electoral process.

Nongovernmental organizations. International and regional treaties are clear that everyone has the right to associate with nongovernmental organizations.[11] Political commitments add that national law should not unjustifiably restrict the ability of any person to join a nongovernmental organization and that states should recognize accredited organizations and facilitate their ability to conduct their activities.[12] Any act or omission by a governmental organ that affects a nongovernmental organization should be subject to administrative review and open to challenge. While specific documentation may be required to establish a nongovernmental organization, the administrative process for registration should be applied with minimum margin of discretion.[13]

Issues


Establishment, Regulation of, and Membership in Political Parties

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Candidacy and Campaigning

Individual electoral rights could be enjoyed in community with others

  • Particular individual electoral rights should be extended to associations and political parties. [?]

Citizens were able to establish and participate in political parties and other associations

  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of public safety/order. [?]
  • Particular individual electoral rights should be extended to associations and political parties. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of protecting the rights and freedoms of others. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted under certain circumstances as are prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to association. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interests of public health or morals. [?]
  • Lawful restrictions of this freedom may also be placed on members of the armed forces and the police. [?]
  • All individuals and groups should have the right to establish their own political parties or political organizations on equal terms. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of national security. [?]
  • Association with a political party must be voluntary. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to establish a political party. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to associate with a political party. [?]

Regulations and deadlines for legal recognition of political parties were clearly specified. Registration requirements were not so stringent that they jeopardized freedom of association

  • States should legally recognize political parties for the effective exercise of related civil and political rights. [?]
  • Requirements for legal recognition should be clearly specified and realistic. [?]
  • Deadlines for applications for legal recognition should be clearly specified. [?]

Political organizations were treated equally in being recognized and registering as a party

  • Everyone has the right to establish a political party. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to associate with a political party. [?]
  • Particular individual electoral rights should be extended to associations and political parties. [?]
  • All individuals and groups should have the right to establish their own political parties or political organizations on equal terms. [?]
  • Association with a political party must be voluntary. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to association. [?]

Partisan and Nonpartisan Observation of Vote Counting and Tabulation

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Vote Counting and Tabulation

The vote-counting process was transparent and observable

  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of public safety/order. [?]
  • Particular individual electoral rights should be extended to associations and political parties. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of protecting the rights and freedoms of others. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted under certain circumstances as are prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society. [?]
  • States may prohibit political parties that advocate the use of violence. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to associate with non-governmental organizations. [?]
  • Any act or omission by a government organ that affects an NGO should be subject to administrative review and open to challenge. [?]
  • Lawful restrictions of this freedom may also be placed on members of the armed forces and the police. [?]
  • The administrative process for NGO registration should be applied with minimum margin of discretion. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of national security. [?]
  • Specific documentation may be required to establish an NGO. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to association. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interests of public health or morals. [?]
  • States should recognize accredited NGOs and facilitate their ability to conduct their activities. [?]
  • National law should not unjustifiably restrict the ability of any person to join an NGO. [?]
  • NGOs should be consulted at all stages of the legislative and/or administrative process that will determine their status. [?]
  • Association with a political party must be voluntary. [?]

Candidates and their representatives, as well as observers, were able to observe polling and counting

  • States should recognize accredited NGOs and facilitate their ability to conduct their activities. [?]

Voter Registration Activities by Civil Society

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

Civil society organizations were permitted to conduct voter registration free from unreasonable restrictions

  • Everyone has the right to associate with non-governmental organizations. [?]
  • States should recognize accredited NGOs and facilitate their ability to conduct their activities. [?]
  • National law should not unjustifiably restrict the ability of any person to join an NGO. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted under certain circumstances as are prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to association. [?]

Provision of Voter Education by Civil Society and Political Parties

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Education

Civil society organizations participated in voter education

  • Everyone has the right to association. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to associate with non-governmental organizations. [?]
  • States should recognize accredited NGOs and facilitate their ability to conduct their activities. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted under certain circumstances as are prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society. [?]

Partisan and Nonpartisan Observation of Voting Operations

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

The state accredited citizen observer organizations and facilitated their ability to conduct their activities

  • States should recognize accredited NGOs and facilitate their ability to conduct their activities. [?]

Candidature

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Candidacy and Campaigning

Candidacy requirements upheld freedom of association

  • Demands on political parties regarding registration should not be so stringent as to jeopardize their freedom of association. [?]


Sources

×