EU poll observers hampered by delays

ISLAMABAD: The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Pakistan on Friday said that the short time between issuance of accreditation card to its observers and the elections day would impact the mission’s ability to thoroughly assess the election process.

In a press release statement, the EU EOM said that their mission has been operational in Islamabad since June 24. It was deployed after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) welcomed the presence of an observation mission for the general elections.

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“Today, 13 July, the mission received accreditation for its long-term observers, allowing for their deployment in the coming days” it said adding that the EU observation methodology focuses on comprehensive long-term observation, suggesting that the long-term observers (LTOs) are usually deployed 4-5 weeks before election day in order to cover all the stages of an election process.

In line with EU EOM methodology, the mission was ready to deploy from Europe in early June. However, due to a series of bureaucratic delays, the core team arrived only on June 24 and the mission’s 60 long-term observers (LTOs) in early July.

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“The short period of time between now and election day has implications on the EU EOM’s ability to thoroughly assess some key aspects of the process, including the campaign environment in different parts of the country, as well as the work of the election administration at the local level” the statement added. It further said that the EU EOM will continue to observe the electoral process in an independent and impartial manner. It will issue its preliminary statement on the electoral process on 27 July.

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