Legal books line the shelves of ODIHR's Elections Department. (OSCE/Agnieszka Rembowska) Photo details
Joint Opinion on the Draft Checklist for Compliance with International Standards and Best Practices Preventing Misuse of Administrative Resources during Electoral Processes at Local and Regional Level of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) co-operated with the Council of Europe's Venice Commission in preparing this Joint Opinion, which was adopted by the Venice Commission at its 110th plenary session on 10-11 March 2017.
Second Joint Opinion on the Electoral Code of Armenia, as amended on 30 June 2016
At its 108th Plenary Session, on 14-15 October 2016, the Venice Commission endorsed the Second Joint Opinion with the OSCE/ODIHR on the Electoral code of Armenia as of 30 June 2016. Following the invitation from the Minister of Justice of Armenia, the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR made second joint opinion on the final version of the Electoral Code, particularly in light of the extent to which the latest amendments addressed the recommendations presented in their first Joint Opinion, endorsed at 107th Plenary Session on 10-11 June 2016.
Joint Opinion on the Electoral Code of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as amended on 9 November 2015
On 25 May 2016, Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the amended Electoral Code of November 2015 of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In line with standard practice, the Venice Commission and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) decided to provide a Joint Opinion on the amendments of the Electoral Code. This Joint Opinion is intended to assist the authorities in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in further developing and improving the legal framework for the conduct of democratic elections and meeting international obligations and standards.
Second Preliminary Joint Opinion on the Electoral Code of Armenia
At its 107th Plenary Session, on 10-11 June 2016, the Venice Commission endorsed the Joint Opinion with the OSCE/ODIHR on the draft electoral code of Armenia as of 18 April 2016. At this Plenary Session, the Minister of Justice informed the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR that additional amendments, including changes that addressed recommendations made in the first Joint Opinion, could be submitted to parliament at an extraordinary session before the end of June 2016. The Minister therefore invited the rapporteurs to hold a working meeting with the Armenian authorities in order to discuss possible additional improvements to the code. The Minister also requested another joint opinion on the final version of the amended Electoral Code, particularly in light of the extent to which these new amendments addressed the recommendations presented in the first Joint Opinion. The Minister asked that this opinion be again transmitted and made public in preliminary form during the month of July. The Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR granted this request. The Minister confirmed this request in a letter sent on 2 July 2016.
Joint Opinion on the Draft Law on Changes to the Electoral Code of the Republic of Moldova
Amendments to the Electoral Code have been made necessary by the 4 March 2016 decision of the Constitutional Court. This decision declared unconstitutional the procedure of election of the President of Moldova by 3/5 of the Members of Parliament, as well as the related rules and laws. It also revived the constitutional provisions on the direct election of the President of the Republic, to be found in Articles 78 (1, 3, 4), 85 and 89 of the Constitution, in force until the adoption of the Law no. 1115—XIV of 5 July 2000, and the corresponding Electoral Code provisions for the election of the President by direct, secret and free vote of the citizens that were repealed by the above law. This decision was consulted in English, directly on the Constitutional Court’s website. All references to the original complaint (48b/2015) and the ruling by the Constitutional Court (Judgment No. 7 of 04.03.2016) are based on the translated documents. On 1 April 2016, the parliament of Moldova voted to hold the presidential election on 30 October 2016.
Joint Opinion on the Draft Electoral Code of Armenia as of 18 April 2016
This joint opinion follows the reform of the Constitution, which was subject to two opinions of the Venice Commission in 2015. The new Constitution entered into force after being endorsed by voters in a referendum on 6 December 2015. According to its Article 210, a new Electoral Code has to enter into force by 1 June 2016.
Preliminary Joint Opinion on the Draft Electoral Code of Armenia as of 18 April 2016
This preliminary joint opinion follows the reform of the Constitution, which was subject to two opinions of the Venice Commission in 2015. The new Constitution entered into force after being endorsed by voters in a referendum on 6 December 2015. According to its Article 210, a new Electoral Code has to enter into force by 1 June 2016.
Joint Guidelines for Preventing and Responding to the Misuse of Administrative Resources During Electoral Processes
The Guidelines follow the Venice Commission’s Report on the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes1 and the conclusions of the 11th European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies that dealt with this topic on 26-27 June 2014 in Helsinki. In these conclusions,2 the participants to the Conference invited “the Council for Democratic Elections […] to consider developing guidelines aimed at preventing the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes”. The guidelines also build upon the OSCE/ODIHR’s election observation findings and recommendations in respect of the misuse of administrative resources. The Guidelines are aimed at assisting national lawmakers and other authorities in adopting laws3 and initiating concrete measures to prevent and act against the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes. Therefore, they are not intended as a set of hard rules.