The will of the people should be the basis of government, and this obligation is linked inextricably to the electoral system.
- Although the Covenant does not impose any particular electoral system, any system operating in a State party must be compatible with the rights protected by article 25 and must guarantee and give effect to the free expression of the will of the electors.
- It is, however, for the Court to determine in the last resort whether the requirements of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 have been complied with; it has to satisfy itself that the conditions do not curtail the rights in question to such an extent as to impair their very essence and deprive them of their effectiveness; that they are imposed in pursuit of a legitimate aim; and that the means employed are not disproportionate (see Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt, loc. cit.). In particular, any conditions imposed must not thwart the free expression of the people in the choice of the legislature – in other words, they must reflect, or not run counter to, the concern to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of an electoral procedure aimed at identifying the will of the people through universal suffrage (see Hirst, cited above, § 62, and Yumak and Sadak v. Turkey [GC], no. 10226/03, § 109, ECHR 2008. The Court is not required to adopt a position on the choice between one electoral system and another. That decision, which is determined by historical and political considerations specific to each country, is in principle one which the State alone has the power to make (see Podkolzina, cited above, § 34).
- Tak[e] all necessary measures to eliminate laws, regulations and practices that discriminate, directly or indirectly, against citizens in their right to participate in public affairs on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, or on the basis of disability.
- Democratic elections require that there be an election system in place to convert the will of the people, expressed through their votes, into seats or mandates to be held by elected representatives (in legislative bodies or other public offices).
- ...[T]he general aim of all of these electoral systems purportedly remains the same, namely, to translate the will of the general electorate into representative government.