The Principles of Electoral Law in the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court

Indrė Pukanasytė

Abstract


This paper aims to find an answer to the questions of what principles of electoral law are entrenched in the Constitution of 1992; what is their content and importance. In the Constitution expressis verbis are entrenched four principles of Parliamentary, Presidential and Municipal elections: universal, equal, direct suffrage and secret ballot. The Constitutional Court has exclusive powers to construe the Constitution officially and to provide the official concept of the provisions of the Constitution, so in order to find an answer to the above mentioned questions it is necessary to analyse not only the text of the Constitution itself, but also the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court. The jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court reveals that not only the above-mentioned four principles, but also other principles of electoral law, inter alia the constitutional principle of free and democratic elections, the principle of publicity, the principle of honest competition in elections, the principle of transparency of the election process are entrenched in the Constitution. There is no finite list of the principles of electoral law. The analysis of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court shows that the main principles, whose content was best revealed, are universal, equal, direct, free suffrage and secret ballot. The content of the principles of electoral law are revealed in the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court case by case. In every case the Constitutional Court reveals as much of the content of the particular principle as is necessary for the fair resolution of the case. The constitutional principles of electoral law are applicable not only in the elections of national representative political institutions, but also in the elections of the European Parliament which is the representative political institution of the European Union.
The constitutional principles of electoral law are important for the implementation of both active and passive electoral rights. These principles are the criterions on the grounds of which the democracy of the elections and the validity of the results of the election, are assessed and they are the criterions for assessment whether the representative political institutions are instituted properly, whether the constitutional rights to vote and to stand for election are not violated.

Keywords


Constitution; elections; principles of elections; Constitutional Court; constitutional doctrine

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236