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The US, EU and UK response to Pakistan’s general election IG News


A voter marks a voter's thumb before issuing a ballot paper at a polling station in Rawalpindi during the general election on February 8, 2024. — APP
A voter marks a voter’s thumb before issuing a ballot paper at a polling station in Rawalpindi during the general election on February 8, 2024. — APP
  • The US condemns restrictions on access to the Internet and telecommunications services.
  • The EU calls on the competent authorities to investigate electoral irregularities.
  • Pakistan’s new government must be accountable to the people it serves: the UK.

After completing all the demanding phases associated with the conduct of the general elections on February 8, Pakistan’s Election Organization is now gearing up to reveal the results of the tumultuous election event across the country as the process of collecting final voting results has been underway for more than 24 hours. .

A total of 452 observers, including 349 foreign journalists and 43 foreign and 60 local observers, followed and closely followed the important democratic event in the fifth largest democracy in the world.

Despite day-long disruptions in mobile and internet services and security threats, the election process was generally peaceful across the country, barring terrorist incidents that occurred in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces.

In addition, many parties that shared parliamentary roles in previous governments raised questions about the credibility of the results after they were delayed despite assurances from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce official results on time.

Meanwhile, the caretaker government and the top electoral body have denied allegations of any deliberate delay in collecting and publishing the final results after maintaining complex procedures to ensure their transparency.

United States

—Matthew Miller, US State Department

Millions of Pakistanis made their voices heard by voting in Pakistan’s elections on February 8, with record numbers of Pakistani women, members of religious and ethnic minority groups and youth registering. We commend Pakistan’s election workers, civil society, journalists and election observers for their work in protecting and supporting Pakistan’s democratic and electoral institutions. We now look forward to timely, complete results that reflect the will of the Pakistani people.

We join credible international and local election observers in assessing that these elections involved unjustified restrictions on freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. We condemn electoral violence, restrictions on the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including attacks on media workers, and restrictions on access to the Internet and telecommunications services, and are concerned about allegations of interference in the electoral process. Allegations of interference or fraud must be fully investigated.

The United States stands ready to work with the next government of Pakistan, regardless of political party, to advance our shared interests. We look forward to strengthening our partnership by supporting Pakistan’s economy through trade and investment. We will continue to support Pakistan in strengthening its democratic institutions, engage in the US-Pakistan Green Alliance, expand people-to-people ties, and promote human rights, including freedom of expression. We are also committed to strengthening our security cooperation and creating a secure environment that provides the people of Pakistan with the peace, democracy and progress they deserve.

United kingdom

— Lord Cameron, Foreign Secretary

The UK and Pakistan have a close and long-standing relationship, underpinned by the strong ties between our two nations. After yesterday’s election, we congratulate everyone who voted.

However, we are aware of serious concerns about the fairness and lack of inclusiveness of the elections. We regret that not all parties were officially allowed to participate in the elections and that legal procedures prevented some political leaders from participating and using recognizable party symbols. We also note restrictions on internet access on voting day, long delays in reporting results and claims of irregularities in the counting process.

The UK calls on the authorities in Pakistan to respect fundamental human rights, including free access to information, and the rule of law. This includes the right to a fair trial through respect for due process and an independent and transparent judicial system free from interference.

Electing a civilian government with a mandate to implement key reforms is essential for Pakistan’s prosperity. The new government must be accountable to the people it serves and work to represent the interests of all Pakistani citizens and communities equally and fairly. We look forward to working with the next Government of Pakistan to achieve this and in all our shared interests.

European Union

— Peter Stano, Chief Spokesman for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The European Union is aware of the conclusion of the general elections held on 8 February in Pakistan after several months of delays and uncertainty and in the context of a tense security environment.

The participation of the people of Pakistan in exercising their right to vote, despite the systemic barriers women and minorities still face, demonstrates their commitment to democracy and the rule of law. The EU welcomes the increased number of registered women voters compared to the last election. We deplore the lack of a level playing field due to the inability of some political actors to participate in elections, restrictions on freedom of assembly, freedom of expression online and offline, restrictions on Internet access, as well as allegations of serious interference. in the electoral process, including arrests of political activists.

Therefore, we call on the competent authorities to ensure a timely and complete investigation of all reported electoral irregularities and to implement the recommendations of the upcoming report of the EU expert mission on elections.

The authorities were faced with the challenging task of countering serious terrorist threats and attacks. The EU condemns all acts of violence that occurred before the elections and calls on all parties and actors to use peaceful and democratic mechanisms to resolve disputes and refrain from further violence.

The EU attaches great importance to political pluralism, democratic values, independent media, a vibrant civil society, judicial independence and international human rights standards, which are key to democratic elections. We call on all political actors in Pakistan to engage in a peaceful and inclusive dialogue aimed at forming a stable government and to respect human rights in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and international treaties to which Pakistan is a signatory. it’s a party.

Pakistan is an important partner of the European Union and we look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Pakistan on the priorities agreed in the EU-Pakistan Strategic Cooperation Plan. We encourage Pakistan to pursue reforms in the areas of human rights, good governance and labor rights and environmental standards, to address the deficiencies outlined in the November 2023 GSP+ report, and to pursue necessary economic reforms.

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