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Spain / Supreme Court / 351/2017

VOX (political party) against the Resolution of the Spanish Electoral Board of 9 December 2015

Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Supreme Court of Spain
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
01/03/2017

Key facts of the case: 

This decision is the Spanish Supreme Court's response to appeal no. 4284/15 lodged by the VOX political party against the Resolution of the Spanish Electoral Board of 9 December 2015. On the basis of this Resolution, the Spanish Electoral body prohibits the VOX political party-a far-right political party- to present its candidacy to the general elections of 2015 with their own envelopes, which contained the national flag and emblem stamped on it. This circumstance, in the eyes of the Electoral Board, was contrary to the Electoral Law (more specifically, Article 46 (5) of Organic Law 5/1985, of 19 June, on the General Electoral System and Article 8 of Law 39/1981, of 28 October, governing the use of the Spanish flag and other flags and banners) and which provides for a clean political process where symbols of such type are meant to stay outside of it.

This Resolution of the Spanish Electoral Board was communicated to the President of the National Mail Services Administration, who was forced by virtue of the said decisions to not distribute the envelopes to the electorate. The political party affected, the above-mentioned VOX, appealed both decisions in the corresponding jurisdiction on the grounds of an alleged infringement of their fundamental rights to concur to democratic elections and to equality.

In particular, Articles 24 of the Spanish Constitution (the right to effective legal protection) and 51 of the Charter.

Outcome of the case: 

The case was partially upheld favourably to the political party and the Court found both the Resolution of the Spanish Electoral Board of 9 December 2015 and the communication of this decision to the National Mail Services Administration were not in accordance to law (Organic Law 5/1985, of 19 June, on the General Electoral System and Law 39/1981, of 28 October, governing the use of the Spanish flag and other flags and banners, but did not restrict any fundamental right (neither in the Charter nor in the Spanish Constitution).