Constitutions International

Briefing Paper 48: Election Provisions in Constitutions

Almost all constitutions in the world protect the right to vote and to be elected. Many modern democratic constitutions include detailed articles on how to ensure voting rights, particularly in states emerging from decades of questionable electoral practices by undemocratic governments.

Constitution-making processes, especially those that serve as a transition away from dictatorship, are meant to enshrine principles of democracy and hold future decision makers accountable to those principles. Constitution-makers should take seriously their responsibility to prevent a reversion to authoritarianism by providing safeguards for genuine elections. International law and good practice provide a blueprint of how to do so.

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