No elections in the near future can be free or fair in Pak, says US expert

November 14th, 2007 - 10:16 am ICT by admin  
Replying to a question, Newberg said: “Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has announced that elections will be held this winter, giving the impression that he is responding to US and European demands.”

“This is, at best, a sham. With neither courts nor a constitution, no media, most civic activists in jail and political party leaders running scared, and many areas of the country too dangerous to traverse, a near-term election can be neither free nor fair,” said Newberg.

“Any Parliament that emerges from such an election will be purchased, and foreign support for winter elections would inevitably undercut the need to restore judges to their posts, and lift the restrictions on free speech that are the cornerstone of this emergency,” Newberg added.

Newberg is a longtime scholar of human rights and a specialist in governance, development, and democracy, the Daily Times reported.

During the past twenty-five years, Dr. Newberg has worked across the transition states of Central and Eastern Europe, and South and Central Asia, as well as in a host of countries caught in the web of complex political change and crisis. (ANI)

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