"The rights guaranteed under Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 are crucial to establishing and maintaining the foundations of an effective and meaningful democracy governed by the rule of law. Nonetheless, those rights are not absolute. There is room for “implied limitations”, and Contracting States must be given a margin of appreciation in this sphere. In this field, Contracting States enjoy a wide margin of appreciation, provided that they ensure equality of treatment for all citizens. It does not follow, however, that all votes must necessarily have equal weight as regards the outcome of the election or that all candidates must have equal chances of victory. Thus no electoral system can eliminate “wasted votes” (see Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt, cited above, § 54). "
DocumentCoE (ECHR): Case of Kovach v. Ukraine, para. 49
- The electoral system should endeavor to ensure equal suffrage by according each voter and vote equal weight.
- While no electoral system is prescribed by international law, the system chosen must be consistent with international obligations and should be clearly stated in law.
- Limits placed on the right to vote must be based on objective and reasonable criteria.
- Limits on those wishing to run for office must be based on objective and reasonable criteria.