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International Relations

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what level of voter turnout is required for elections overseas to be deemed as legitimate by his Department. (243221)

The UK participates in Electoral Observation Missions run by the EU, the OSCE and other international organisations. In assessing the validity of an election, these missions take into account a range of factors, including the degree of impartiality shown by the election management body; the degree of freedom of political parties; the fairness of access for political parties and others to the media and the conduct of the polling and counting of votes. There is no international standard on levels of voter turnout, but turnout can be an indicator of some of the factors listed above. More information about EU electoral observation missions can be found at:

http://europa.eu/eur-lex/en/com/cnc/2000/com2000_0191_en01.pdf.