The Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) on Saturday called on citizens to have patience amid finalisation of general elections results and hoped that the process would be concluded effectively and would reflect the masses’ will.
“While the results process is being finalised, we call on all citizens to continue to exercise patience and restraint. It is our hope that the process will be concluded effectively and that it will reflect the will of the people. We speak from experience in calling for candidates to be magnanimous in victory, and gracious in defeat. We call on all those with grievances to address disputes through prescribed election dispute resolution mechanisms,” the COG said in a statement regarding Pakistan's general elections.
In the interim statement, the group urged candidates to be gracious in failure and generous in triumph.
Pakistanis were commended by the Commonwealth Group for their patience and determination during the election process after the polling held on February 8. "On the election day, citizens exercised their right to vote despite the challenges," the statement read.
The organisation expressed its gratitude to all polling staff, political parties, candidates, their representatives, and law enforcement agencies for their individual contributions to this election cycle.
The observers said elections were a defining moment in every democracy, and each election offered an opportunity to take forward the positive gains made in the previous cycle. “We once again commend the efforts made to build on the improved legal framework from previous elections. We encourage these efforts to continue, and reaffirm the Commonwealth’s continuing commitment to being part of Pakistan’s post-election journey,” they said.
On delay in reception of Form 45 by the ECP, the group observed that the forms were due to be sent via the mobile phone application, but the shutdown of internet and mobile coverage compelled presiding officers to rely solely on manual transmission of the forms. “We received reports that this adversely impacted the processing of results. We will reflect on this further in our final report,” it said.
The COG noted that some polling stations had concrete ramps for persons with disabilities (PWDs), but at many other polling stations ramps and other means of access were absent. “We also noted a number of polling stations that were located above the ground floor,” it said.
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