Limits on individuals wishing to run for office may only be based on objective and reasonable criteria, including criminal conviction.
- Every citizen had the right to be elected, subject only to reasonable restrictions
- The vote-counting process was transparent and observable
- Candidates and their representatives were able to observe polling and counting as means of protecting their right to be elected
- Vote counting and tabulation processes protected the right to be elected
- The law may regulate the exercise of the rights and opportunities referred to in the preceding paragraph [right to participate in government] only on the basis of age, nationality, residence, language, education, civil and mental capacity or sentencing by a competent court in criminal proceedings.
- As with the right to vote, restrictions on the right to be elected must be confined to accepted criteria: age requirements, which may be somewhat higher than the legal voting age in the case of candidacies for high governmental office; citizenship requirements; reasonable residency requirements; and proportionate restrictions or disqualification in cases of findings of mental incapacity and criminal convictions.
- Voting rights should be based on considerations that include: citizenship; legal age of majority (this may differ from country to country); residency requirements; any other additional grounds for disqualification (eg, prisoners in detention, persons with a criminal record, mentally disadvantaged, and so on).
- Reasonable restrictions may include factors such as residence, citizenship, convicted persons in legal detention, and those considered mentally incapacitated by the courts.
- The Human Rights Committee has recognized that some countries have permissible legislative penalties depriving violators of certain political rights. However, in Alba Pietraroia v. Uruguay (44/1979), the committee made reference to the principle of proportionality in examining the degree of deprivation and stated that a measure as harsh as the deprivation of all political rights for a period of 15 years would have to be specifically justified.
- Reasonable restrictions may include factors such as residence, citizenship, current incarceration or having been convicted of a crime, and mental incapacity as determined by a court.
- It may be reasonable to exclude any person currently serving a prison sentence for having committed a serious crime. However, loss of candidate rights should be proportional to the crime committed, and candidate rights should be automatically reinstated once the sentence has been served.