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Identify and Apply the Legal Framework

Various international and regional instruments are part of the international legal framework on firearms. While demonstrating the complexity and multidimensionality of firearms-related problems, this multiplicity also illustrates the need for diverse and multidisciplinary approaches and the central role that firearms continue to play on the international agenda. Another case of electoral reforms occurred in 2012 due to an indirect administrative measure taken by the government of the day, which triggered the need for the European Commission to initiate a reform. The question concerned constituency boundaries and the number of parliamentary seats for parliamentary elections. The creation by the government of 45 additional administrative districts obliged the EC to create and expand constituencies from 230 in 2004 to 275 in 2012 to comply with electoral protocols such as Article 3 of the 1992 Law on the Representation of the People (PNDC 284), which states: creation of space for political parties, to express their complaints about the results of the two elections held in 2011, the Forum went beyond its formal mandate to contribute to the legal reform process. Discussions within the forum were sometimes difficult. As several speakers noted, there were opportunities for work stoppages, but at the same time, it seemed that the injuries healed during the tea and lunch breaks, when participants could leave the “party stage” and chat more person-to-person. Therefore, the break with the formal agenda has been used as a tool to calm situations in which politicians have overcome considerations about the best electoral framework for the country. (d) increase public confidence in the confidential treatment of reported data, thereby facilitating the collection of accurate information and higher response rates; Statistical confidentiality is a key element in the collection, storage and dissemination of statistics and related microdata. Therefore, the legal framework should contain provisions ensuring the protection of personal data and limiting the use of such data for official statistical purposes; In this context, the electoral reform process launched in 2013 focused on aligning the legal framework of the electoral process with the constitutional provisions specified in the judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal. Caution should also be exercised with regard to the objectives of a final review such as the annulment of elections.

In order to express the will of the people, election results should be annulled only in exceptional situations where evidence of illegality, dishonesty or fault is evident and the election result has been distorted. [ii] The term “codes of conduct” can refer to many different things. Three cases of such an expression should therefore be excluded at the outset. These three cases concern not only electoral workers, but also electoral obligations and cannot be considered as codes of conduct legally involved in electoral processes: voter information and education also implies greater voter participation in electoral processes. While voter turnout is a very complex phenomenon with many variables, as reported by Elections Canada on the 2012 Canadian Democracy Week website, “studies in Canada, the United States and Australia show that civic education has a positive impact on key factors associated with voter turnout, such as political knowledge, interest, attitudes, citizen participation and intention to vote.” [v] Thus, education is becoming increasingly necessary within the framework of a democratic culture. This requires the construction of a political culture in which all members of a community should assimilate from an early age and be informed of the democratic values that citizens should share and disseminate. Therefore, electoral authorities should play an important role alongside the educational role that ordinary social actors such as families, schools and meeting places can play. Indeed, political organizations alone cannot ensure a lasting existence.

For this reason, their objectives, attributions and legal existence must be legally defined. Without legal support, the existence of political organizations would be unstable, anarchic and disorderly. The most fundamental questions are why a legal framework for democratic elections is important and what exactly is meant by the term “legal framework”. A publication of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) entitled “Promoting Legal Frameworks for Democratic Elections: Boundaries for electoral districts must be setting using legal and clear procedures” answers the first question well. Here, the rules must give us as much security as possible. The legal framework should also, to the extent possible, clearly stipulate that certified copies of the results are made available to representatives of parties and candidates, as well as to election observers. The law should also specify which bodies or authorities, if any, have the right to receive such information before the competent election authority publishes the certified results. Some argue that the legal framework should create an exclusive forum for filing complaints and appeals in these limited cases, so that each instance does not unnecessarily increase the burden on the courts. [ii] The main risk associated with INEC`s involvement in electoral reform processes is that the Commission will be appointed by the President and its members may be removed through impeachment proceedings that require the support of two-thirds of the Senate majority. While it has never been the case for a member of the Commission to be removed from office because of his or her strong views, this could happen within the current framework if, at any time, a governing party decided to exercise its powers. Later, in September 2012, the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) decided to uphold the SPC`s decision to dissolve the PA, but the political debate continues.

A legal adviser to the Freedom and Justice Party, which had the majority in the dissolved People`s Assembly, called the verdict “a catastrophe in the history of Egypt`s judicial system,” while others, including former presidential candidate Amr Moussa, called for respect for judicial decisions. [v] For its part, the ECN considered the electoral reform process to be essential in view of the voter registration planned for 2012 and the preparation of the 2014 Presidential, National Council and Parliamentary Council elections. Although the REC has taken proactive initiatives to reform the electoral law since 2007, these efforts have not had the desired influence and effect. The LRDC call for proposals for electoral reform in 2012 therefore gave the ECN the opportunity to contribute its experience and findings for electoral reform proposals to a “legal” and formalized mechanism – the LRDC.