"Essential elements of representative democracy include, inter alia, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, access to and the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law, the holding of periodic, free, and fair elections based on secret balloting and universal suffrage as an expression of the sovereignty of the people, the pluralistic system of political parties and organizations, and the separation of powers and independence of the branches of government."
DocumentOAS: Inter-American Democratic Charter, art. 3
- Genuine elections are required to express the will of the people.
- The expression of the will of the people in establishing government is fundamental in every election.
- Every citizen has the right to vote.
- Elections must be held by universal suffrage.
- The election should be held by secret ballot.
- Elections are to be held at periodic intervals.