ISLAMABAD (PPA COMPILATION) — Michael Gahler, chief of the European Union election observer mission, told a press conference in Islamabad that his 120-strong team observed no rigging on election day.
“We have concluded there was a lack of equality of opportunity,” he said, adding that the overall process was “not as good” as in 2013.
European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission to Pakistan (EOMP) Chief Observer (CO) Michael Gahler has said that the general elections in Pakistan were satisfactory.
Gahler was personally quoted by a local daily saying that “Our observers visited as many as 300 polling stations in 87 constituencies and I have personally visited four polling stations, there is an improvement compared to the previous election held in 2013.”
“A number of violent attacks targeting political parties, party leaders, candidates and election officials, severely affected the campaign environment,” he added.
The EU mission deployed 120 monitors across Pakistan, who visited 582 polling stations in 113 different constituencies.
According to a report in the UK daily Guardian “The EU has piled further pressure on Pakistan’s likely next prime minister, Imran Khan, after his country’s disputed general election, noting a “lack of equality of opportunity” and “systematic attempts to undermine the ruling party” ahead of the vote.”
According to a report in Deutsche Welle, the EU observers concluded on Friday that the results were “credible,” but criticized a “lack of equality” in the contest and said that the playing field was more uneven since the last vote in 2013.
“Although there were several legal provisions aimed at ensuring a level playing field, we have concluded that there was a lack of equality and opportunity,” Michael Gahler, chief observer of the EU Election Observation Mission, said at a press conference.
In its initial findings, the EU concluded that the Pakistani elections were relatively transparent, but raised the alarm on unfair pre-election practices.