Voting processes must be subject to the rule of law, not to decisions of the current government or a single party.
- In practice, however, it is not so much stability of the basic principles which needs protecting (they are not likely to be seriously challenged) as stability of some of the more specific rules of electoral law, especially those covering the electoral system per se, the composition of electoral commissions and the drawing of constituency boundaries. These three elements are often, rightly or wrongly, regarded as decisive factors in the election results, and care must be taken to avoid not only manipulation to the advantage of the party in power, but even the mere semblance of manipulation.
- The transfer of power to the winners must be both committed to by the ruling and opposing parties and the subject of legal provisions for it implementation. In other words, elections must be subject only to the rule of law, and not the whim of the existing Government or any single party.
- One way of avoiding manipulation is to define in the Constitution or in a text higher in status than ordinary law the elements that are most exposed (the electoral system itself, the membership of electoral commissions, constituencies or rules on drawing constituency boundaries). Another, more flexible, solution would be to stipulate in the Constitution that, if the electoral law is amended, the old system will apply to the next election – at least if it takes place within the coming year – and the new one will take effect after that.