"The object and purpose of the Convention, which is an instrument for the protection of human rights, requires its provisions to be interpreted and applied in such a way as to make their stipulations not theoretical or illusory but practical and effective (see, among many other authorities, United Communist Party of Turkey and Others v. Turkey, 30 January 1998, § 33, Reports 1998-I; Chassagnou and Others v. France [GC], nos. 25088/94, 28331/95 and 28443/95, § 100, ECHR 1999-III; and Lykourezos v. Greece, no. 33554/03, § 56, ECHR 2006-VIII). 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 only be 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 that the eligibility procedure contain sufficient safeguards to prevent arbitrary decisions (see Podkolzina v. Latvia, no. 46726/99, § 35, ECHR 2002-II). Although originally stated in connection with the conditions on eligibility to stand for election, the principle requiring prevention of arbitrariness is equally relevant in other situations where the effectiveness of individual electoral rights is at stake (see Namat Aliyev v. Azerbaijan, no. 18705/06, § 72, 8 April 2010), including the manner of review of the outcome of elections and invalidation of election results (see Kovach v. Ukraine, no. 39424/02, § 55 et seq., ECHR 2008-...). "
DocumentCoE (ECHR): Case of Kerimova v. Azerbaijan, para. 44
- Every citizen has the right to be elected.
- States have a duty to protect the fundamental human rights of all within their jurisdiction.
- Limits on those wishing to run for office must be based on objective and reasonable criteria.
- The right to vote is not absolute and can be restricted based on objective and reasonable criteria.