Free and fair elections

Elections are examples of human rights in practice.
Achieving a democratic electoral process is part of establishing a system of government that can ensure respect for human rights, the rule of law and the development of democratic institutions.

In this respect, international standards for elections, established by universal and regional treaties and political commitments, provide a basis for the assessment of an election process. Such standards include political rights and fundamental freedoms as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Preface to Compendium of International Standards for Elections, Second Edition
European Commission, November 2007