Pak polls were inherently flawed: EU poll monitors

April 17th, 2008 - 1:49 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Apr 17 (ANI): The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) has claimed that the February 18 parliamentary elections in Pakistan were inherently flawed due to persisting problems with the framework and the conditions in which they were held.

If these (enduring problems with the framework and conditions) are not addressed, there is a serious risk of electoral problems in the future, said the EUOEM Chief Observer Michael Gahler, at the release of the final report.

He further said that the elections fell short of accepted international norms, as several key aspects of free and fair elections, including freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and universal suffrage, were repeatedly breached.

Gahler also said that the Ahmaddiya community were not given equal treatment as guaranteed by the Pakistani Constitution.

I call on the Pakistani authorities, political parties, and civil society to swiftly undertake electoral reforms, the Daily Times quoted him, as saying.

The mission put forth 83 recommendations to improve the electoral process in Pakistan, and promised to assist the country in overhauling the election machinery to strengthen democracy in Pakistan.

The report suggested a complete overhaul of the Election Commission (EC), saying that appointments of the chief election commissioner and members of the EC should be subject to stakeholders consultation.

Responding to the EU report, EC Secretary Kanwar Dilshad said that the elections were upheld in a transparent manner and were free from any coercion.

Dilshad said that he was still analysing the report. (ANI)

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