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Cyprus / Electoral Court / 1/2016

Organisation of fighters for justice et al v The House of Representatives

Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Electoral Court of Cyprus
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

The applicants sought to challenge an amendment to the electoral law, adopted in 2015, which increased the electoral measure for parties to enter the parliament from 1.8% to 3.6% at second allocation of seats and from 3.6% to 7.2% at third allocation. To this effect, the applicants applied for an order of referral of a preliminary question to the CJEU on whether the failure to foresee a procedure for challenging the legality or the constitutionality of the electoral law prior to the elections and the restriction of the right to challenge to natural persons only and not to political parties were contrary to articles 6, 13, 14 and 18 of the ECHR. In addition, the applicants requested a referral to the CJEU to decide on whether the relevant provisions of the electoral law, being articles 33 and 57, infringed Union law and in particular the Charter.

Outcome of the case:

The Charter cannot be applied in order to check the legality of laws regulating national elections. Relying on the CJEU ruling in the case of  Alkagaren v. Hans Akerberg Fransson, the Court concluded that fundamental rights guaranteed by Union law can be applied in all cases regulated by Union law but not beyond those; in the present case the national elections did not involve any issue of Union law and the Charter could therefore  not be applied. Given that there is CJEU case law on this point the issue was clear (acte éclairé) and there was no need for a referral to the CJEU.