Democracy Reporting International (DRI), with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launched the ‘Election Guide, All You Need to Know for Pakistan’s 2018 General Elections’ at the Marriott Hotel, Islamabad. The launch ceremony was held with a view to promote stakeholder awareness of the electoral framework in Pakistan, and to facilitate domestic and international observers, as well as the media and civil society by providing access to the Elections Guide.
Speaking at the occasion, DRI’s Country Representative, Mr Javed Malik, stated that ‘the Elections Guide provides an up-to-date summary of key features of the electoral framework in Pakistan. The Guide is based on improvements made in the legal framework through the Elections Act 2017, which is an outcome of long and multi-partisan efforts aimed at electoral reforms. It is DRI’s hope that the information provided by the Election Guide will help facilitate and inform a useful discussion about the electoral process in Pakistan. There is every reason to be hopeful that the Election Commission will succeed in the delivery of most well organized and fair elections. They already have made excellent arrangements. Now is the time to deliver on these well intended efforts, and we hope the Election Guide will assist all stakeholders to achieve just that’.
UNDP’s Chief Technical Advisor, Mr Darren Nance, while addressing participants said ’We note the positive initiatives the Election Commission of Pakistan have undertaken to bolster inclusion, access and transparency in the electoral process. We hope this Elections Guide serves as a clearinghouse of information and repository for research on Pakistan’s electoral processes.
The Guide consistently refers to both international standards and Pakistan’s regulatory framework for all phases of the electoral cycle. It also provides sources of further information to equip stakeholders with detailed knowledge regarding the different aspects of the electoral cycle in Pakistan. Information on caretaker governments, electoral roll, delimitation, electoral dispute resolution, election security is also provided.
Noting the Election Commission of Pakistan’s endeavors to increase participation of marginalized groups in the electoral process – participation of women, minorities and persons with disabilities is given special attention within the Guide. The important role of journalists is catered to with tips for media reporting and issues for consideration while covering the General Elections 2018 in Pakistan.
The Elections Guide, in both English and Urdu, is supplemented with a mobile application, ‘Elections Guide 2018’ (both Android and IOS), along with a website https://www.electionsguide.com.pk for easy access.