Final report: EU observers satisfied with May 11 elections

Published: July 11, 2013
The 140-member EU observer mission formulated 50 recommendations to help ensure better transparency in future elections. PHOTO: Zafar Aslam.

The 140-member EU observer mission formulated 50 recommendations to help ensure better transparency in future elections. PHOTO: Zafar Aslam.

ISLAMABAD: The European Union’s Election Observer Mission, in its final report, has said the May 11 polls were much more free and fair than previous elections in the country. It cautioned, however, that not implementing certain legal provisions has left future elections vulnerable to malpractice.

Released at a news conference on Wednesday, the findings of the EU observer mission concluded that despite escalating militant attacks and procedural shortcomings, the May 11 electoral process progressed with a high level of competition, a marked increase in voter participation and overall acceptance of the outcome.

Speaking to reporters, Chief Observer Michael Gahler, however, noted that fundamental problems remain with the legal framework and the implementation of certain provisions.

“Now is the time for the new Parliament, the Election Commission and other stakeholders to demonstrate their commitment to a democratic Pakistan. Legislation can be further developed and every by-election as well as local election is an opportunity for implementing improved practices,” he added.

The 140-member EU observer mission formulated 50 recommendations to help ensure better transparency in future elections. Of these seven require constitutional changes and 17 require changes in the primary legislation, according to Gahler.

The EU observer mission suggested the formation of a special parliamentary committee on elections to review related legislation within a framework of international law commitments. Key issues to address in this regard include candidacy criteria, transparency requirements and mechanisms for effective remedy.

It also recommended that the Election Commission of Pakistan should take full responsibility for the administration of the elections. The commission must fully implement its five-year strategic plan as well, the EU mission noted in its report.

It proposed that ECP should establish a clear regulatory framework for all aspects of the election, including results management, observation and scrutiny, and complaints. The commission should also review and develop procedures to increase checks in the polling and results process, and develop practices to improve the quality of the completed results forms, the report maintained.

The EU observer mission also asked ECP to introduce strong transparency measures, including making all notifications, decisions and election related information immediately and easily available to the public.

“All polling and results information should swiftly be made available to the public on the ECP website.”

It also suggested that the legal framework for media be revised so that it fully supports editorial independence and eliminates opportunities for censorship.

The EU mission stressed the need for measures to promote the participation of women in the electoral process, through measures such as more Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) drives, requiring parties to make policies and information on women’s participation within the party publicly available and ensuring greater coverage of women in politics in the state media.

The mission also called for the abolishment of a separate list for Ahmadi voters, so that all voters are on one unified electoral roll.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • Looks like everyone who witnessed corruption first hand had collectively hallucinated. And on that note, I want some of that stuff.


  • Desi
    Jul 11, 2013 - 2:52AM

    They missed that famous karachi wali aunty video I guess …


  • Skhan
    Jul 11, 2013 - 3:03AM

    Here goes EU’s credibility!


  • Jul 11, 2013 - 3:04AM

    They said “May 11 polls were much more free and fair than previous elections” and they were satisfied with May 11 elections, which is a good result undoubtedly but they didn’t actually say there WERE truly free and fair elections. Hopefully, reforms now, the next elections will be free and fair elections.


  • Adil Uddin
    Jul 11, 2013 - 4:00AM

    Looks like USA and NATO have done a thorough discussion and planning before betting on Nawaz Sharif. Elections results were satisfactory, yeah right


  • LHRI
    Jul 11, 2013 - 4:10AM

    Big Slap on the PTI face……….!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Pro Pakistani
    Jul 11, 2013 - 4:25AM

    Their MASTER PLAN worked thats why they are satisfied


  • S
    Jul 11, 2013 - 4:37AM

    the actual report!

    if this is satisfactory than i dont want to know whats unsatisfactory.


  • GS@Y
    Jul 11, 2013 - 4:46AM

    Instead of crying about their stolen victory, PTI trolls should take time off connecting with reality.


  • zK
    Jul 11, 2013 - 4:57AM

    The pakistanis themselves are not satisfied how come the EU observers are so satisfied !!!


  • Jahanzeb Zafar
    Jul 11, 2013 - 5:45AM

    Quoting executive summary of the report:
    “It appears that ROs made some last minute changes to the polling station scheme and polling staff, and that the ECP has no central record of the changes or final lists of actual stations and staff used on election day. This is problematic in regards to ballot accountability, implementation of procedures as untrained staff were used, and the organisation of voters, agents and observers..”

    ET please raise your reporting standards


  • asim
    Jul 11, 2013 - 5:50AM

    bari dair ki meharbaan aate aate


  • hello
    Jul 11, 2013 - 5:53AM

    Read the report… ET as always saying what noon tells them


  • Taimoor
    Jul 11, 2013 - 5:55AM


  • hello
    Jul 11, 2013 - 6:05AM

    ET have you read the report? In summary the report says election commission failed in transparency and checks and balances.

    The bias here is so obvious.

    I urge everyone to read the report.


  • Navaid
    Jul 11, 2013 - 6:07AM

    PTI trolls are rolling in their graves. LOL !


  • TightPatloon
    Jul 11, 2013 - 6:07AM

    Was someone named Raymond David head of the EU panel?


  • Saleem Siddiqiqui
    Jul 11, 2013 - 6:30AM

    Who cares whether they are satisfied are not.


  • Zavia
    Jul 11, 2013 - 6:50AM

    OH! REALLY………


  • Qasim
    Jul 11, 2013 - 7:41AM

    We are not satisfied with election. to be satisfied one should be blind and deaf!


  • FN
    Jul 11, 2013 - 8:27AM

    What a farce. Wonder if they’re part of the plan or just incompetent. Either way, the elections were a bad joke tbh.


  • auashraf
    Jul 11, 2013 - 8:37AM


    Oohhhh.. dont say so EU guys… is not it enough proof that winning kaptaan of 1992 cricket world cup said so?… where is your logic and insight EU guys?.. how dare you challenge the rants of our national hero.. they should all be declared persona non gratas (or whatever it is)…


  • Zia syed
    Jul 11, 2013 - 8:59AM

    They forget to google “corruption in pakistani election 2013”


  • Muhammad Usman Ghani
    Jul 11, 2013 - 9:00AM

    Free and Fair elections. Hahahaha….And this time EU instead of US is giving it credibility. Dear EU, these were as fair elections as are in Afghanistan and Iraq or Indian-held Kashmir or the referendums of Zia and Musharraf.


  • Strategic Asset
    Jul 11, 2013 - 9:04AM

    @S: You are right. The report shows that the EU Observers were far from satisfied.
    Sometimes I feel that Pakistan suffers from difficulty understanding in a language that is not black or white.


  • Ali S
    Jul 11, 2013 - 9:12AM

    Try telling that to PTI crybabies


  • Sadia Rehman
    Jul 11, 2013 - 9:14AM

    Pakistanis especially in some areas were so satisfied that they were demonstrating against the elections’ transparency. Most of the above comments speak volumes how fair the elections were. EU seems to be the spokesman of either N-League or East India Company.


  • kas12345
    Jul 11, 2013 - 9:20AM

    From the executive summary of the actual report:

    1) Requirements for transparency were not met.
    2) equality of the vote is compromised by the large variation in constituency sizes.
    3) The right to stand as a candidate was not evenly provided for.
    4) The high number of attacks affected campaigning and unbalanced the playing field
    5) state and privately owned broadcasters did not provide the main contestants
    with equitable coverage.
    6) Counting was more problematic, with 9 out of 64 stations rated as poor or inadequate
    7) The ECP didn’t regulate for the resolution of complaints,
    8) Reform initiatives could help mitigate the frustrations of the current 2013 process,

    And on and on …. Yes, they did say things improved from last time, but they DID NOT SAY THE ELECTIONS WERE SATISFACTORY. More misreporting by ET.


  • Omer Farooq
    Jul 11, 2013 - 9:38AM

    They didn’t say it was without problems, just that it was better then the last one. Example some of the problems from the report are directly quoted below. You can find more with more details if you go through the actual report.

    page 4 ” broadcasters did not provide the main contestants with equitable coverage.”
    page 4 “In some cases serious problems were seen, including in Karachi, where overall polling stations were more negatively rated.”
    page 3 “Requirements for transparency were not met”
    page 4 “Security conditions precluded EU EOM observation in Balochistan and FATA.”


  • abrar
    Jul 11, 2013 - 9:41AM

    This is ridiculous reporting ET, every other newspaper reported this news otherwise. I guess you guys have some serious issues with PTI or some matter of lifafa journalism.


  • Nasir
    Jul 11, 2013 - 9:43AM

    Then what’s this\11\story11-7-2013pg1_2


  • hs
    Jul 11, 2013 - 9:46AM

    you mean PTI is Pakistan….lolz


  • sheraz
    Jul 11, 2013 - 9:48AM

    How an outside organisation look deeply in the affairs… of PTI due to repolling in karachi NA 250 is just one big witness of rigging in elections


  • RizwanKhan
    Jul 11, 2013 - 10:03AM

    Hahahahaa. This defiantely qualifies for “joke of the year”.


  • tahir rana
    Jul 11, 2013 - 10:14AM

    “international establishment” is hatching conspiracies against MQM (claimed by altaf hussain), after reading the above news i can safely claim that “international establishment” is trying to give a clean chit to PMLN by stating that May 11 polls were much more free and fair than previous elections in the country.

    on a serious note we should definitely do something about this “international establishment”. first, we should save altaf bhai from the claws of this “international establishment” afterwords a demonstration should be held in EU asking European Union’s Election Observer Mission to withdraw their fact finding report.

    shame on you “international establishment” .


  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Jul 11, 2013 - 10:18AM

    Height of naivety. Do we have to depend and beleive an EU report on our rigged elections. Report by people who have no clue how elections are rigged in Pakistan or any other developing nation. Throw it in the garbage.


  • Faiz
    Jul 11, 2013 - 10:29AM

    Ahamadi and women should be given equal rights and scrutiny of candidates should be more rigrous and trasparent this was the only three points i could figure out from this article which EU emphsized and I agree


  • Baba Ji
    Jul 11, 2013 - 10:34AM

    I told you earlier .. fraud !!!Recommend

  • Chill79
    Jul 11, 2013 - 11:05AM

    I am loosing my faith in Tribune. Every other newspaper reported elections results are not satisfactory read this ET:
    “A strong democratic commitment was demonstrated in the 2013 elections. Despite escalating militant attacks, and procedural shortcomings, the electoral process progressed with high levels of competition, a marked increase in voter participation, and overall acceptance of the outcome. However, fundamental problems remain with the legal framework and the implementation of certain provisions, leaving future processes vulnerable to malpractice,” Gahler said.


  • Hafiz Shah Ali
    Jul 11, 2013 - 11:11AM

    ET: Please read the EU report whch is available at:

    They have blasted the election process.


  • Zia syed
    Jul 11, 2013 - 11:46AM

    Even in news, channels are projecting EU report as satisfactory.


  • S
    Jul 11, 2013 - 4:31PM

    Is there some kind of law that can penalize newspapers for misinformation, malice, incompetence and misleading? One of the only things that I was proud of in Pakistan was having a vibrant media. A media that highlighted all our issues and kept everyone informed. But lately it seems as if every channel has its own agenda. Its no different from Fox News in the US who ran a story that the Russian meteor shower was caused by the US. I think Tribune understands that most of the Pakistani people are not very literate and they will buy anything said in their newspaper without any issues. If they are going to mislead the people, they should at least try being more discreet. Their credibility is highly questionable! To the readers here I say: take everything you read here with a grain of salt.


  • truthbetold
    Jul 12, 2013 - 12:39AM

    I always wonder how these foreign ‘observers’ can really make such judgments about elections sitting in some office in the host country, especially a large one. They have to apparently rely on news reports and what the establishment contacts tell them. They could have easily done the same thing by staying in their own countries! By the way, I am not questioning the validity and fairness of the recent Pak elections.


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