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Chief Observer of EU election observation mission meets Soomro


Islamabad : Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission to Pakistan Michael Gahler has met Caretaker Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro and discussed the Feb 18 parliamentary elections.

The government is committed to extend every possible support to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in holding general elections on time in a free, fair and transparent manner, Sommo said, according to an official statement.

He said that the government has invited foreign observers and media persons to monitor the election process so that they witness the fairness and transparency of elections.

The prime minister said more than 3000 observers have so far been issued visas and elaborate arrangements have been made to facilitate them.

Soomro said in order to ensure transparency the ECP has prepared translucent ballot boxes while the voters’ lists have been put on the Internet and returning officers have been empowered to compile results at the polling stations.

He said that government has strictly prohibited the use of state machinery for the purpose of electioneering and all the District Nazims (mayors) have accordingly been given clear directions.

The prime minister emphasized that successful completion of the election process is in the interest of entire nation. He reiterated that no disruption in the process will be allowed and zero tolerance will be shown against anybody who creates hurdles or obstructions in this regard.

Soomro said that concerned departments have been directed to take all necessary measures to ensure holding of elections peacefully in all parts of Pakistan. He said army, rangers and paramilitary forces have also been asked to assist the government so that masses can be provided a conducive atmosphere in which to exercise their right of vote.

He said that general elections being held after the completion of previous national assembly’s mandated period of five years augurs well for the future of democracy in the country, as it would further strengthen the democratic institutions.

Soomro said the people, particularly members of political parties should refrain from prejudging the election results as this could unnecessarily raise the sentiment on the streets. The party, which secures majority will have to demonstrate large heartedness while others should accept the results with grace.

He said the government would welcome any suggestion from the foreign observers.

Gahler told the prime minister that the EU Election Observation Mission to Pakistan is assessing all phases of the election process and would give its initial report two days after the elections while final report would be presented after two months.