The European Court of Human Rights condemned Romania for violating the rights of a Turkish minority group that was barred from the 2008 general election, the court said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Association of Ethnic Turks was unable to participate in the election due to a law introduced seven months before the November 2008 election.
The legislation required groups not represented in parliament to secure charitable status in order to stand for election.
The court said the requirement could have resulted in the "automatic disqualification of opposition parties and coalitions enjoying significant popular support and thus benefit political formations currently in power."
The unanimous judgment found this was "incompatible with the democratic order and undermined citizens' trust in their country's public authorities."
Romania was found to have violated European Convention on Human Rights articles prohibiting discrimination and guaranteeing free elections.
The 2008 election was won by the Democratic Liberal Party, which went on to form a government with the Social Democratic Party.
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