"It is, however, for the Court to determine in the last resort whether the requirements of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 have been complied with; it has to satisfy itself that the conditions do not curtail the rights in question to such an extent as to impair their very essence and deprive them of their effectiveness; that they are imposed in pursuit of a legitimate aim; and that the means employed are not disproportionate (see Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt, loc. cit.). In particular, any conditions imposed must not thwart the free expression of the people in the choice of the legislature – in other words, they must reflect, or not run counter to, the concern to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of an electoral procedure aimed at identifying the will of the people through universal suffrage (see Hirst, cited above, § 62, and Yumak and Sadak v. Turkey [GC], no. 10226/03, § 109, ECHR 2008. The Court is not required to adopt a position on the choice between one electoral system and another. That decision, which is determined by historical and political considerations specific to each country, is in principle one which the State alone has the power to make (see Podkolzina, cited above, § 34). "
DocumentCoE (ECHR): Case of Grosaru v. Romania, para. 44
- Genuine elections are required to express the will of the people.
- The will of the people should be the basis of government, and this obligation is linked inextricably to the electoral system.
- Whether the will of the people has been fulfilled also depends on the extent to which other obligations associated with the electoral process have been achieved.
- Elections must be held by universal suffrage.