Right to Democracy
“Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.” “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.” United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21:1,3.
Democracy is essential to ensuring that government manifests the will of the people and safeguards their rights. Democracy is foundational to other rights. Equal rights and treatment cannot occur in non-democratic societies, and freedom of speech and of the press are nowhere respected by authoritarian regimes.
The right to democracy is universal and transcends culture, religion, ethnicity, and other characteristics. Non-democratic regimes do not have the consent of the governed, and thus are not legitimate. No movement, religious call, or other agenda overrides or negates the right to democracy.
Free and fair elections are the foundation of the democratic process. Free and fair elections require freedom of speech, information, and assembly. All eligible voters who desire to participate must be allowed to do so without undue hardship and free from intimidation or suppression. Election integrity must be safeguarded against fraud and manipulation to ensure validity of results and the freely given confidence of the governed.