Tuesday July 23, 2024

Elections in Pakistan: EU not sending full election observation mission

During 2018 elections, EU deployed EU EOM comprising core team of ten analysts, 60 long-term observers

By Mariana Baabar
December 04, 2023
This picture shows the European Union flags fluttering outside the European Commission building in Brussels. — AFP/File
This picture shows the European Union flags fluttering outside the European Commission building in Brussels. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The European Union (EU) has informed the government here that due to paucity of time, it will not be sending a full election observation mission as it did in 2018. Also, no recommendations will be presented at the conclusion of February 8, 2024 elections.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has stated that it welcomes observation missions for elections 2024. The EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) has monitored elections in Pakistan five times.

During the June 2018 elections, the EU deployed the EU EOM comprising a core team of ten analysts and 60 long-term observers across the country. On the election day, it deployed a total of 122 observers. Later, in October 2018, the final report was presented to the Pakistan authorities, which included 30 recommendations to improve future electoral processes, of which eight are considered priorities.

“Only a small mission of experts will visit Pakistan during elections 2024, while no recommendations or political assessment of the voting will be presented to the Pakistan government. The EU will not be sending a full-blown election observation mission. Those need several months in advance to plan and budget for,” EU Ambassador to Pakistan Ms Riina Kionka told The News. She added that this has been conveyed to different government officials that she had been meeting recently.

When the spokeswoman at the Foreign Office was asked whether the ECP with the consultation or advice of the Foreign Office had issued any invitations to election observers from individual countries or international organizations, she responded, “I do not have that data with me. So, I’ll have to take it back and may be respond at some other occasion.”

The ECP has urged the Foreign Office to take essential measures to invite international observers to monitor transparency of the upcoming general elections, and code of conduct for international observers would also be published.

The ECP says it has informed the Foreign Office that it believes in an open-door policy and welcomes observation missions for the upcoming general elections at the earliest as required.