Commonwealth mission to observe elections in Pakistan

08:41 PM | 17 Jul, 2018
Commonwealth mission to observe elections in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD - A Commonwealth Observer Group will arrive on Wednesday to observe the forthcoming general elections in Pakistan scheduled to be held on July 25.

The Group led by Nigeria’s former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, comprises on eminent persons drawn from across the regions of the Commonwealth, with distinguished backgrounds in law, election administration, diplomacy, human rights, civil society, politics and media.

The mandate of the Group is to consider the factors that affect the credibility of the electoral process as a whole.

Members will form a judgment on whether the elections have been conducted according to the standards for democratic elections to which all Commonwealth member states have committed themselves, with particular reference to the Commonwealth Charter, national election-related legislation and other relevant regional and international commitments.

The Observers will also receive internal briefings from the Election Commission of Pakistan, political parties, civil society, media and those responsible for security and will also hear views from various other stakeholders.

The members will be deployed to various regions over several days and return to Islamabad on July 26 to prepare their report. The group would return on July 30.

“The Commonwealth Observation Group is to act impartially and independently. It will be free to propose actions on institutional, procedural or other matters as would assist concerned authorities with elections in the future,” said Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.

The Group will submit its final report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will forward it to the Government of Pakistan, Election Commission of Pakistan and political parties taking part in the elections and to the Governments of all Commonwealth member countries. Thereafter, the final report will be made public.–APP