ISLAMABAD - Chief Observer of European Union Election Observation Mission Michael Gahler has acknowledged a considerable drop in terrorist actions in Pakistan since 2013 and hoped that upcoming general elections would be held in a peaceful environment.
Addressing a news conference here on Thursday to officially launching the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for the general elections to be held on July 25, he said deployment of Pakistan Army troops during the elections is reassurance act of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the electorates.
“Since general elections are taking place on 25th of next month mark an important stage in Pakistan's democratic development, they are examining fairness and transparency in electoral process in Pakistan,” Gahler elaborated.
Answering a question, he said that the EU’s election observers’ mission will take into account all the issues relating to political rights, media curbs as well as political trends on Pakistani social media.
He said mandate of the EU election mission is to observe all aspects of the electoral process and to assess the extent to which the elections are in compliance with the laws of Pakistan as well as with international and regional commitments for democratic elections to which Pakistan is a signatory.
The Chief Observer said the mission is currently made of a core team of ten election analysts based in Islamabad and 60 long-term observers will arrive in next few days.
He said the mission will issue a preliminary statement on the 26th of next month about electoral process and a comprehensive final report will be published approximately two months later.
Earlier, he said it is a great privilege to have been given this opportunity to lead once again the EU Election Observation Mission to Pakistan and hoped that their presence will contribute to a transparent electoral process.
“When the long-term observers arrive in their areas of observation, they will start to meet with election officials, candidates and representatives of civil society. They will report their observations back to the core team in Islamabad, and these will contribute to the mission’s informed and impartial assessment of the electoral process,” explained Mr Gahler.
The EU EOM will also be joined by a delegation of seven Members of the European Parliament, as well as diplomats from European embassies resident in Pakistan. At full strength, the mission will comprise up to 100 observers.
The European Union deployed an EOM to observe the elections after a mission was welcomed by the Election Commission of Pakistan. The EOM is independent in its findings and conclusions. EU observers adhere to a strict code of conduct for international election observation that requires they maintain strict neutrality and impartiality in the course of their work and do not interfere in the electoral process.
The EU deployed election observation missions to Pakistan in 2002, 2008 and 2013, with the last two being led by Mr Gahler.
Michael Gahler, a Member of the European Parliament from Germany, is also leading the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for the general elections scheduled for July 25.
EU chief observer hopes peaceful elections