What is Free and Fair Election?

Reference & EducationCollege & University

  • Author Ali Mohamed
  • Published January 26, 2019
  • Word count 1,232


Does the free and fair election exist or occur equally all the countries around the world? Free and fair elections are, by common consent, when the citizens express their desire towards a specific election, whether a parliamentary term or presidential one.

A free election, on the one hand, means when individuals have the right to vote and also they have the right to defy. Hence, no one is subject to compel by any means to vote. In this case, people have their will to express their ideas publicly or they can choose to hold privately. However, all the citizens must imply the willingness to welcome at the time of election dates by the sense of patriotism.

On the other hand, a fair election represents that all people are equally present the will and then vote without compulsion and also without discrimination. For this reason, the intended government should illustrate a clear responsibility for balancing all components of the electorate, such as campaigns, registrations, voter card displays if possible, and other related issues.

Despite the free one is the most important part of the election, the electoral committees always prefer the complement portion and the reason is that no country can manage the election without a FAIR. Finally, a fair but not a free election could not be possible to handle by any means.


The features of election combine several categories. These categories including ballot box, election committees who assigned by the Supreme Court of the country, an allocated budget, specialty employees, procurement, and lastly, a voter and of course, if the last one is not available, the programme has eventually become unproductive. However, they interconnected with one another. Throughout the features, the elements of a free and fair election are necessary, and, in fact, they shape the framework of the government in particular and the country in general. The elements, including a legislative, neutrality, and competition are the wings that an election could fly if they probably fulfilled as they should be.

In the processes of life during the course of living in the world, there should be rules, laws and regulations to avoid behaving and living like the way animals do. There are numerous rights that are necessary to be found on the elections dates. Furthermore, the voter has to show a vivid responsibility and right to fulfill, which, by the way, requires the completion of the entire programme by a peaceful condition. The rights include:

  1. A voter must be a citizen of the country.

  2. A voter must be at least eighteen years old.

  3. A voter must be registered and he or she has the voter registration card.

  4. An adult citizen has the right to vote.

  5. Every voter has the right to exercise his or her will with their consent.

The above rights provide the citizens with the ability to practise and participate in the election periods by the authority which comes from the willingness of their participation. So, they reassure the progression of the democracy and the dynamite system of the government.


As Fathi, Ibrahim and Wan Jusoh explain their paper, Islam and election depict a real compatibility with one another because of al-Adalah (justice), al-Shura (consultation), al-Bay’ah (oath of allegiance), and al-Khalifah (vicegerency). Consequently, Islam, with some scholars, agrees if the election is free and fair. In other words, whenever the election distinguishes no harming with the code and conduct of Islamic Sharia, the States can continue their elections undoubtedly.

As to give a full analysis, the three writers argue that free and fair elections in Islam would be like "All the election members such as electoral management body, candidates, political party leaders, and voters are personally accountable to exercise justice (fair) and freedom (free) in the electoral process." Therefore, Islam welcomes to uphold the principles and supporters of the elections, whether the physical contact or moral issues.


To answer this question, we must look back in African elections. From the processes of African countries to elect their head completely vary the way the other democratic countries undergo for quite reasons. Firstly, African leaders extravagantly like higher positions than any other system in the world. For example, Angola has sixteen years apart from the first election to the next between 1991 and 2008, and worst still, the 2008 election was parliamentary one. During that time one party was ruling the nation.

Another example is that Botswana’s presidency terms are not fixed and elections can be postponed if necessary. Furthermore, Botswana is a parliamentary system. From its independence day until now, Botswana has regulated nine elections, whereas some other African countries still lack the ability to hold a single one and this situation dwells paradoxically untouchable level. Nonetheless, Botswana is by far, the only Southeast African country which roughly and intermittently maintains its democracy within a limit.

Aside from African election predicaments, Somaliland, a self-declared nation in the Horn of Africa, has shown a successful record of pure, one person one vote, presidential election, biometric and Iris voter registration elections since its secession from Somalia in 1991. Some folks say, "a birth democratic nation among African countries."


Naturally, long periods to whatever a person holds, a tendency to break the laws and order. Thus, humans resist easily the title and monarchy, and of course, a lure can automatically be placed on the chair of the ruler. In this case, the Turkey Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, turned to the president of Turkey to be a functioning part of the system of the government. Therefore, a free and fair election is far away to conduct and handle as it seems to show its elements. If the country’s media are not free, the freedom of speech is still premature and missing and the lack of it, no matter how elections are free, yet, there are necessary pillars to emancipate.

While the Turkey president is behaving a strange way to hold the office like this, the likelihood he would be classified as an infamous ruler. To handle a free and fair election, the rights of citizens need to be respected.


Though conducting a free and fair election needs a real consideration and concern, the article finds the minimum attempts that African nations and other developing countries have tried to implement. The writing has analysed the difference between ‘free’ and ‘fair’ and also how Islamic scholars identify their true meaning by applying the perspectives on Sharia – the Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad ‘Peace and Blessing upon Him’.

While handling these types of elections, the media are the engine which operates the entire body to reach a reliable result. In this way, the media is supposed to be medium and neutral for the government and the opposition parties to fulfill their consent and will.

Nowadays, as a witness, all people are objecting to taking the least that they could with the intention of all mechanisms of elections run smoothly and produce a tangible outcome such as an elected-president and so on.

For further output, inputs are what is required every State to host to secure all citizens by free and fair regulations, rules, laws, orders, campaigns and also candidates. To clear the fog, manifest accountability, transparency and better results, all individuals must show a respective mode for their assigned tasks.

Ali studied Government and Politics from the Asian University of Bangladesh and he is originally from the Horn of Africa where he knows more especially the history of Election and Democracy. He also has a deep knowledge of good governance and leadership.

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