Where political parties are concerned, the European Court of Human Rights has emphasised that only conduct which might endanger political pluralism or fundamental democratic principles can justify a ban on their activities1, since political freedom is fundamental to a democratic society2. In view of the essential role played by political parties in the proper functioning of a democracy, the exceptions to the right to free association3 are to be construed strictly and only convincing and compelling reasons will justify restrictions on political parties' freedom of association
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