Applicant’s disqualification from parliamentary elections for early campaigning and vote buying.
Art. 3 Prot. 1 ECHR
1. The Court found that the cancellation of the applicant's registration as a candidate in the parliamentary elections constituted an interference with his right to stand as a candidate. In the proceedings before the ConEC, the applicant had not been offered sufficient procedural guarantees. The ConEC had taken all its decisions in the absence of the applicant, without hearing him beforehand. The Appellant was not informed in advance of the relevant ConEC meetings and was not given the opportunity to challenge the evidence used against him, depriving him of the opportunity to properly defend his position before the ConEC. Furthermore, copies of the ConEC decisions and other relevant documents were delivered to him with significant delays of several days. This had deprived the appellant of the opportunity to adequately prepare his appeals within the statutory maximum period of three days for lodging appeals against decisions of the ConEC.
2. In sum, the domestic procedures leading to the applicant's disqualification from the elections had not provided him with sufficient safeguards against arbitrariness at any stage of the proceedings and the decisions of the domestic authorities lacked sufficient reasoning and an adequate assessment of the evidence to establish his responsibility for the misconduct attributed to him. For this reason, the Court condemned the State for violation of Article 3 Prot. 1 of the ECHR.
(The applicant was nominated by a party as one of its candidates in the November 2010 parliamentary elections. While the applicant's registration was in progress, on 4 and 5 October 2010 several posters containing the applicant's photo, biography and a text describing his electoral platform were hung on the walls of various buildings in two Azerbaijani cities. However, the official electoral campaign period was scheduled to begin on 15 October 2010 and, under domestic law, it was prohibited to campaign before that date. For this reasons the applicant's registration as a candidate in the parliamentary elections was cancelled).