The legislation includes guidelines for determining the structure of election administration, instructions to returning officers on how to do their work, and the rights and obligations of political parties, the media, electors and other participants in an election. To ensure that election results reflect the will of voters as accurately as possible, the legal framework must protect the principles of liberty, justice and electoral competition (see Fair and Just Trial). These can be designed, as in the Philippines, to seek an honest, orderly, peaceful and credible context and to give the country`s citizens equal opportunities in public service. 74 The legal framework is capable of protecting the integrity of the election in different ways. Authority is transferred to certain bodies that perform certain functions. However, this power can be limited if we distribute this power among the different institutions and subject them to a series of revisions and adjustments. For example, one election administration body has the power to administer elections, but another body may have the power to set electoral boundaries or manage the public funds of political parties. For reasons of integrity, it is very important to review the entire legal design in order to understand the legal framework and, if necessary, to determine the necessary corrective measures and, if necessary, the nature of the final measures to be taken. The legal framework empowers the electoral authority to carry out the tasks of administering elections in accordance with the structure established in its own regulations. It also allows political parties to raise funds and participate in elections in accordance with applicable legislation. Finally, it ensures that voters retain their political rights to vote and to elect their government representatives. In emerging democracies, the rules for free and fair elections continue to evolve. In these cases, it is very important to integrate the basic principles into the legal framework.
According to Dr. Robert Pastor, when elections in countries transitioning from authoritarian to democratic rule, “the challenge is to negotiate electoral rules in a way that all parties accept and respect.” 75 Once this fundamental legal framework has been completed, this work can begin within the institutional and administrative framework for the electoral process. Reform of the legal framework can become the starting point for restoring the integrity of the electoral process. This was the case, for example, in Mexico, where electoral reform became the “lever”76 for genuine democratic change. The implementation of the new electoral legislation served as a basis, a new institutional framework and the creation of different modalities of participation. These institutions have defined the procedures and methods used to strengthen the electoral integrity provisions in the new legislation. This series of reforms created the integrity framework necessary for Mexico`s electoral system. 77 In many countries, the electoral legal framework has evolved into a complex combination of laws, judicial rules and actual practices. Some electoral laws may be newly created or updated, while others may base their application on outdated laws that are outdated but still in force.
There may be gaps, conflicts and contradictions between different parties that shape a legal framework and thus the electoral process. In Argentina, for example, the Argentine section of Transparency International found that there are more than 90 different pieces of legislation dealing with political party financing issues. 73 For more information on the legal framework for elections, see Legal instruments (doctrine/theory). The legal framework provides us with the foundations on which institutions are built and determines the scope and nature of political participation. The legal framework of an election, and in particular issues related to its integrity, are regularly found in various legal and interrelated laws. In many countries, it is based on the Constitution as supreme legislation, supplemented by laws enacted by a parliament or legislature that contain electoral law (laws containing provisions governing the electoral process, campaign financing and citizens` right to vote), laws, penal codes, and regulations containing codes of conduct/codes of ethics. be announced by various regulatory bodies closely related to electoral issues. Inspections may be conducted under delegated authority or oversight office, such as in the case of an inspector general, to oversee election administration, identify problems and recommend corrective actions.
Law enforcement is regularly carried out by a judicial system, police, courts and prisons.