Temporary postponement of voting processes due to a public emergency is permitted, but only to the extent required by the circumstances, provided that such measures are not contrary to a state's obligations under international law.
- In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.
- A state party may take measures derogating from its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights pursuant to Article 4 (hereinafter called "derogation measures") only when faced with a situation of exceptional and actual or imminent danger which threatens the life of the nation. A threat to the life of the nation is one that: (a) affects the whole of the population and either the whole or part of the territory of the State, and (b) threatens the physical integrity of the population, the political independence or the territorial integrity of the State or the existence or basic functioning of institutions indispensable to ensure and project the rights recognized in the Covenant.
- The severity, duration, and geographic scope of any derogation measure shall be such only as are strictly necessary to deal with the threat to the life of the nation and are proportionate to its nature and extent.
- The participating States confirm that any derogations from obligations relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms during a state of public emergency must remain strictly within the limits provided for by international law, in particular the relevant international instruments by which they are bound, especially with respect to rights from which there can be no derogation. they also reaffirm that: (25.1) measures derogating from such obligations must be taken in strict conformity with the procedural requirements laid down in those instruments; (25.2) the imposition of a state of public emergency must be proclaimed officially, publicly, and in accordance with the provisions laid down by law; (25.3) measures derogating from obligations will be limited to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation.
- Postponement of scheduled elections necessitated by public emergency may be permitted in certain limited circumstances, but only if and to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation. Any such exigencies must comply with all the rigid international standards for such derogations and must not threaten democracy itself. Indeed, the UDHR itself proclaims that any limitations on the rights and freedoms contained therein must be for the purpose of "meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and general welfare in a democratic society." Accordingly, the interruption of periodicity will, in all but the most exceptional circumstances, violate international standards.
- Appropriate and proportionate heightened security measures may be instituted in response to emergency security situations with a view to restoring or maintaining public order. In doing so, international obligations and standards set out that limitations of fundamental rights and freedoms during a state of emergency can be justified only by strict and exceptional necessity in light of a grave and imminent threat.