Electoral legislation and its regulations should offer clear guidance with respect to the process by which parties and candidates were placed on the ballot.
- [States should foster citizen participation in the electoral process by] enhancing internal party democracy through adoption of the relevant legislative framework, in particular as regards transparency of financing of political parties and the selection of candidates for election, in line with the Venice Commission’s Code of Good Practice in the field of Political Parties.
- The legal framework should clearly provide for notification of the dates for commencement and closure of nominations; specify when, how and where nomination procedures must be undertaken; and set out the process of scrutiny and verification of nomination forms and declarations. Where the legal framework requires the support of a nomination by the collection of signatures, it should provide for a reasonable timeframe for this to be done and for the subsequent verification of the signatures.
- The legal framework should clearly set forth all details on this issue for a particular election. This includes the dates for commencement and closure of registration, during what time period and how signatures are to be collected where registration is to be established by signatures, and the process of verification of registration. Where the legal framework provides for the collection of signatures, it should provide for a reasonable amount of time for collection of the signatures. The legal framework should provide for uniformity in the registration process so that the same process applies to all candidates at all levels.
- A credible process of signature verification would include the verification of all signatures submitted up to the point when the minimum number of verified signatures required for registration has been reached. Once the minimum number of signatures has been established, the political party or candidate should be registered.
- The system for the verification of signatures should be clearly defined in law and not overly technical, so as to avoid the possibility of abuse. In particular, a requirement that a citizen be allowed to sign in support of only one party should be avoided, as such a regulation would affect his/her right to freedom of association and could easily disqualify parties despite their attempts in good faith to fulfil this requirement.