Published: 7 Feb 2008
Kovach v Ukraine
Case No. 39424/02
Judgment date: 07/02/08
The applicant was a Ukrainian national living in Uzhgorod (Ukraine). He stood as a candidate in the 2002 parliamentary elections in a constituency in the Zakarpattya region. The case concerned the applicant’s complaint about the conditions in which the elections had been conducted in that constituency. In particular, he complained about the invalidation of votes cast in certain electoral divisions and the alleged unfairness of the recount which followed. He further complained that officers of the constituency Electoral Commission were biased in favour of an opposing candidate as manifested by their signatures appended to a newspaper appeal published in support of the candidate in question. The applicant sought damages in the form of potential lost earnings, and also for the anguish and distress which he had suffered on account of the violation of his electoral rights. He relied on Art. 3 of Protocol 1 (right to free elections) which provides that: “The High Contracting Parties under- take to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature.”
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