On Tuesday, a court statement outlined that the ECHR condemns Romania for violating the rights of the Association of Ethnic Turks party which was disqualified from the country’s 2008 general election.
A new legislation was introduced seven months prior to the elections in 2008 which prohibited the Association of Ethnic Turks from participating.
The judgement delivered by the ECHR claimed that the legislation “required national minority organizations not represented in Parliament to have been granted charitable status in order to be able to stand for election.”
Based on the legislation requirements, the court ruled that amending the legislation seven months prior to the elections did not give the “applicants the opportunity to organize” themselves so they can “satisfy the eligibility criteria.”
The unanimous judgement found this was “incompatible with the democratic order and undermined citizens’ trust in their country’s public authorities.”
The judgement also outlined that Romania had breached the European Convention on Human Rights article, titled “prohibiting discrimination and guaranteeing free elections.”
The Association of Ethnic Turks Party was established in 1990 as an ethnic minority political party, representing the Turkish community in Romania.
According to 2011 census records, there were 28,226 Turks living in Romania, making up 0.15 percent of the country’s population.