Political parties must lodge complaints on spot, not after results: EU chief observer

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LAHORE : Chief Observer, European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) Pakistan 2018 Michael Gahler has advised the political parties to lodge complaints [related to their polling reservations] on the spot and not after the result announced.

He said, in an interview, that political parties should present the voters and promise they would deliver on it.

He said that legitimacy to an election process comes from the voters, urging the voters to come out in large numbers on July 25 and cast their votes.

About allegations of rigging against government institutions, Gahler said EUEOM had asked the complainants to approach the right forum for relief as it could not make any judgments but witness and observe.

Gahler, member EU parliament from Germany, is the chief observer in the EUEOM which comprises about 100 members who have been invited to monitor elections on July 25. He was also the head of EUEOM in 2013.

To a query, he said elections day was people’s day, urging people to turn up in large numbers to strengthen democracy in the country.

The EU representative said the mission had collaborated with seven television channels, three radio stations and other media outlets to encourage the voters to come out in large numbers to cast their vote to the choicest candidates, besides assist in monitoring elections.

About the preparations by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), he said the legal frameworks were well in place while the staff provisions, supplies, and technical assistance were far better than the 2013 general elections, stressing that election day was the best litmus test of all claims.

About the transparency, he said the ECP had put in place an effective system, adding that every party has the right to take a photo of result document at a polling station and prepare its own parallel result.

About the law and order situation, EU Chief Gahler said that law and order situation and overall security scenario was better than the 2013 general elections, adding that Mastung terror attack was an indication that terrorist outfits were targeting the final phase of the election campaign.

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