Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista - The 78th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections was held on 5 October 2023 in Venice, Italy. During this meeting, the Council approved three draft opinions drawn up jointly by the Venice Commission and the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
These draft opinions relate to amendments to the Electoral Code of Armenia and related legislation, a draft law of Ukraine restricting the participation of persons associated with certain political parties, and amendments to the Electoral Code of the Republic of Moldova concerning the ineligibility of persons linked to political parties declared unconstitutional. It is particularly relevant in view of the country-wide local elections to be held on 5 November 2023, for which the Congress will deploy an observation mission.
The Council for Democratic Elections is the only tripartite body of the Council of Europe, comprising members of the Venice Commission, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. Its aim is to unite the legal experience of the Venice Commission and the political experience of the Assembly and the Congress and to examine all the opinions relating to States and documents of a general nature concerning elections before their submission for adoption by the Venice Commission.
Following a revision of its rules of procedure entered into force on 1 October 2023, the Council Presidency aims to ensure rotation between the various Council bodies and comprises a President and two Vice-Presidents drawn from the three bodies making up the Council.
At its meeting of 5 October 2023, the Council elected:
• President: Mr Stewart Dickson (Congress of Local and Regional Authorities)
• Vice-Presidents: Mr Srdjan Darmanovic (Venice Commission); Mr Michael Link (Parliamentary Assembly)