Whereas domestic electoral legislation in most Council of
Europe member States generally offers a good basis to hold “free
and fair” elections, recurrent violations occur, mainly due to a
lack of political commitment at the highest level to ensure full
and effective implementation of the law and a level playing field
for all candidates.
On the basis of election observation reports and other Council
of Europe sources, the report notes that election-related violations
still occur in a number of Council of Europe member States, in particular:
in the pre-electoral period (opacity of election campaign funding
or lack of equal access to the media), on voting day or during counting
(ballot box stuffing or falsification of electoral protocols), in
the post-electoral period (ineffective complaints and appeals procedures)
or throughout the electoral process (misuse of administrative resources; threats,
pressure, violence and intimidation of candidates and voters).
The report thus proposes measures to improve the democratic
character of elections by fostering participation, ensuring transparency
and strengthening supervision.