Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia off 12.03.1997


Any citizen, on reaching 18 years, acquires the right to vote and to be elected unless they have been deprived of civil capacity (Article 22 of the Constitution).The laws governing electoral procedure cannot prescribe limitations on electoral rights which extend the limitations already envisaged by the Constitution, i.e. they cannot prescribe limitation on the right to be elected for a certain category of citizens.


The case was initiated by a citizen challenging the constitutionality of Article 5.3of the Law on Local Elections, under which the members of the armed forces, uniformed police officers and authorized officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Intelligence Agency, cannot be nominated or elected as members of Local Council or as mayor.

Under Article 22 of the Constitution, any citizen on reaching 18 years of age acquires electoral rights. This right is enjoyed equally, universally and directly and it is exercised at free elections by secret ballot. Only persons deprived of civil capacity are excluded from the right to vote and to be elected. The Constitution does not distinguish between "active" and "passive" electoral rights which means that once the determined conditions are fulfilled the citizen acquires the right to vote and the right to be elected. No special conditions for the acquisition of the right to be elected are envisaged except for the election of the President of the Republic (Article 80 of the Constitution).

In view of the fact that the Constitution has established fundamental electoral principles allowing the electoral regime and procedure to be determined by law, the legal presumption is that electoral laws should be consistent with the Constitution, i.e. they cannot contain restrictions on electoral rights which extend beyond the limits of the constitutional frame.

For these reasons, the Constitutional Court repealed the challenged provision since it restricts the right to be nominated and elected as member of Local Council or mayor for a significant number of citizens.