Monday, December 04, 2023
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EU not to send full election observation mission for Feb 8 polls

Only a small mission of experts will visit Pakistan during the elections 2024, says EU envoy

European flags fly outside the European Commission building, in Brussels, on May 8 2015. — AFP
European flags fly outside the European Commission building, in Brussels, on May 8 2015. — AFP

  • EU envoy says only a small mission of experts to visit Pakistan. 
  • Mission to not share recommendations, assessment of voting. 
  • Envoy cites planning and budget constraints for decision. 


ISLAMABAD: The European Union (EU) has communicated to the government that due to a lack of time, it will not be able to send a full election observation mission, as it did in the 2018 polls, and will also be unable to provide recommendations after the conclusion of February 8 elections, reported The News on Monday.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has invited observation missions for next year's election. The EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) has monitored polls in the country five times.

During the last elections in 2018, EU EOM comprised a core team of 10 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 mission shared its final report with the Pakistani authorities with 30 recommendations to improve future electoral processes. Out of the 30 recommendations, at least 8 were identified as priority.

“Only a small mission of experts will visit Pakistan during the 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.

The envoy stated that they had conveyed their position to different government officials whom she had met recently.

When the spokeswoman at the Foreign Office was asked about the EU mission or whether the ministry had issued any invitations to election observers from individual countries or international organisations, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said: “I do not have that data with me. So, I’ll have to take it back and maybe respond at some other occasion.”

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