ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has convened a meeting Tuesday to invite foreign observers for the general election.
It was learnt that the meeting at 11:00am will be chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja. In the meeting, a detailed briefing will be given about inviting foreign observers to the general election and other arrangements in this regard.
The Elections Act 2017 empowers the electoral body to invite local or foreign observers to monitor the elections. Section 238 of the act reads, “The Commission, at its own motion or upon an application made in this behalf, may allow any domestic or international election observation organisation to observe the process of conduct of election, having an access to polling station, counting of votes and consolidation of results.”
However, this section also makes it clear that no person will be allowed to observe the process of conduct of election, if he— (a) is not accredited as an observer by the commission or its authorised officer; (b) is affiliated with any political party; (c) fails to provide his full particulars and documents, including photographs, which may be required by the commission; (d) has been involved in activities prejudicial to the peace and tranquility of the people of a constituency; (e) fails to provide an authorisation from the organisation of which he is a member; and (f) has not obtained security clearance from the government.
“Every observer while observing the process of conduct of election shall display prominently a card of his identification issued to him by the commission or an officer authorised by it. Every observer or, as the case may be, organisation may submit a report to the commission highlighting the electoral irregularities which were noticed during observation relating to conduct of election, with recommendations, if any,” the section reads.