"The right to stand as a candidate in an election, which is guaranteed by Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 and is inherent in the concept of a truly democratic regime, would be merely illusory if one could be arbitrarily deprived of it at any moment. Consequently, while it is true that States have a wide margin of appreciation when establishing eligibility conditions in the abstract, the principle that rights must be effective requires the finding that this or that candidate has failed to satisfy them to comply with a number of criteria framed to prevent arbitrary decisions. In particular, such a finding must be reached by a body which can provide a minimum of guarantees of its impartiality. Similarly, the discretion enjoyed by the body concerned must not be exorbitantly wide; it must be circumscribed, with sufficient precision, by the provisions of domestic law. Lastly, the procedure for ruling a candidate ineligible must be such as to guarantee a fair and objective decision and prevent any abuse of power on the part of the relevant authority (see Podkolzina, cited above, § 35). "
DocumentCoE (ECHR): Case of Grosaru v. Romania, para. 47
- Every citizen has the right to be elected.
- Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, impartial, and independent tribunal in determination of his/her rights.
- The state should establish an independent and impartial election body.
- Loss of the right to be elected may only be imposed following adjudication by a court.
- The composition of the election commission can vary, but the principles of independence and impartiality should be upheld.