Parties and candidates must be able to communicate their opinions to the electorate.
- The States party to the Convention commit themselves to: g) facilitate formation of political parties and their free legal activity, to regulate in terms of legislation financing of political parties and the election process, to assure that the law and governmental policy provide for separation between the party and state, for conducting election campaigns in the atmosphere of freedom and fairness that allow parties and candidates to exercise a free expression of their views and assessments, election programmes (platforms), and allow voters to get acquainted with them, to discuss them and to vote for or against them freely, nor being afraid of penalty or any prosecution whatsoever.
- Free elections and the freedom of expression, particularly the freedom of political debate, form the foundation of any democratic system. Those two rights are interdependent and mutually reinforcing: for example, as the Court has found in the past, freedom of expression is one of the “conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature” (see Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt, cited above, § 54). That is why it is particularly important in the period preceding an election that opinions and information of all kinds are permitted to circulate freely (see The Communist Party of Russia and Others v. Russia, no. 29400/05, § 107, 19 June 2012).
- Political parties and candidates should be able to freely express their campaign messages.
- Candidates must have the freedom to convey their programs to the voters without disruption of campaign meetings, and without geographic infringement imposed by government through ‘no-go areas.’
- The legal framework should ensure that each political party and candidate enjoys the right to freedom of expression and freedom of association, and has access to the electorate, and that all stakeholder in the election process have an equal chance of success.
- The terms "genuine" and "meaningful" are standards used to evaluate other essential components in the campaign period, including: (1) the freedom and capacity candidates have to convey their programs to the voters.
- In order that elections shall be fair, States should take the necessary measures to ensure that parties and candidates enjoy reasonable opportunities to present their electoral platform.
- In conformity with freedom of expression, legal provision should be made to ensure that there is a minimum access to privately owned audiovisual media, with regard to the election campaign and to advertising, for all participants in elections.