The expression of the will of the people in establishing government is fundamental in every election.
- State Parties shall implement this Charter in accordance with the following principles:(3) Promotion of a system of government that is representative.
- To vote and be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the voter.
- Every citizen shall enjoy the following rights: b. to vote and to be elected in genuine periodic elections, which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters.
- During authentic elections there are guarantees for revealing the freely expressed will of the people and for its direct execution.
- Everyone shall have the right and opportunity and in the state of which he is a citizen (b) to vote and to be elected at elections held on the basis of universal and equal suffrage by secret ballot, that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters.
- The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature.
- More particularly, the States enjoy considerable latitude to establish in their constitutional order rules governing the status of parliamentarians, including criteria for disqualification. Though originating from a common concern - ensuring the independence of members of parliament, but also the electorate’s freedom of choice -, the criteria vary according to the historical and political factors peculiar to each State. The number of situations provided for in the Constitutions and the legislation on elections in many member States of the Council of Europe shows the diversity of possible choice on the subject. None of these criteria should, however, be considered more valid than any other provided that it guarantees the expression of the will of the people through free, fair and regular elections.
- Free elections that will be held at reasonable intervals by secret ballot or by equivalent free voting procedure, under conditions which ensure in practice the free expression of the opinion of the electors in the choice of their representatives.
- The participating States declare that the will of the people, freely and fairly expressed through periodic and genuine elections, is the basis of the authority and legitimacy of all government.
- The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
- Democratic elections are the basis of the authority of any representative government.
- 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.
- Direct election of one of the chambers of the national parliament by the people is one aspect of Europe’s shared constitutional heritage. Subject to such special rules as are applicable to the second chamber, where there is one, other legislative bodies, like the Parliaments of Federate States, should be directly elected, in accordance with Article 3 of the Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights. Nor can local self government, which is a vital component of democracy, be conceived of without local elected bodies. Here, local assemblies include all infra-national deliberative bodies. On the other hand, even though the President of the Republic is often directly elected, this is a matter for the Constitution of the individual state.