Elections 2018 comparatively better than 2013 polls: FAFEN


Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), a non-profit NGO has issued a report declaring General Elections 2018 of Pakistan better than elections of 2013.
According to the FAFEN report, despite complaints about vote counting process the elections were free, fair, transparent and accountable, in accordance with the requirements laid out in the Elections Act, 2017, private news channel reported. The report added that some terrorist attacks took place resulting several deaths however, citizens came out of their houses to use voting right.
The violation of election laws was observed at one-third polling stations however, these breaches were negligible, FAFEN report added. Moreover, the report also demanded Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to address the issues and insecurities of political parties otherwise political instability may arise in the country.
Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Friday commended the voters for ensuring the second consecutive democratic transition of power with a better turnout on the general election day. In its preliminary Election Observation Findings Report- 2018, issued here it also lauded the role of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and all the individuals involved in administering, monitoring and maintaining security during the elections.
According to the FAFEN assessment of Provisional Results of the Count (Forms 47) of 241 National Assembly constituencies as announced by the Election Commission, the voter turnout remained 53.3 percent. The highest turnout of voters was in Punjab, where 59 percent of registered voters went to the polls in 127 National Assembly constituencies, for which provisional results were available.
In all the three National Assembly constituencies in Islamabad the turnout was 58.2 percent, followed by 47.7 percent in 52 National Assembly constituencies in Sindh, 43.6 percent in 50 National Assembly constituencies in KP including Federally Administered Tribal Areas – FATA and 39.6 percent in nine National Assembly constituencies in Balochistan. The male turnout at these 241 constituencies was 58.3 percent, more than 10 percent higher than the female turnout that remained 47 percent. In absolute number, 49.48 million voters in these 241 constituencies exercised their right to vote as against 46.9 million who voted in 2013.
It added the Election Day was better managed, relatively peaceful and free of any major controversy until slow process of announcement of provisional results by the ECP. The report said that despite issues with the Result Transmission System (RTS) set in place by the ECP to meet the requirements of the new election law that was enacted in October 2017. FAFEN also acknowledges significant improvements in the quality of critical electoral processes in the election cycle that inspired greater public confidence.
With regard to voter registration, with a particular focus on increasing women enrollment on electoral rolls, and greater diligence in following legally defined principles in delimitation and effective enforcement of campaign rules, the Election Commission appeared to be more assertive in its attempt to deliver an improved quality of election, it added. —APP

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