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EU observer satisfied with preparations for July 25 polls

LAHORE: Michael Gahler, who is heading European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) Pakistan 2018, has expressed satisfaction over preparations, security measures and atmosphere to hold free, fair and transparent elections in the country.

In an interview with a state-owned newswire, he said, “The electoral climate is satisfactory and the technical preparations are well-placed, but the election day is the real litmus test of all measures.”

Gahler said the mission would observe elections from beginning to the end and give its recommendations in the light of the feedback from its team of about 100 people.

He said the EUEOM was to observe the entire electoral process, assess operations, legal framework, voting procedure on the election day besides vote counting and transmission of results.

The official said the mission would engage all political parties, candidates, supporters, local ECP officials, local press and other relevant bodies and know how atmosphere and election process were being run.

Responding to a query, he said their task was also to receive complaints and watch procedures how the complaints had been handled, adding that they were not supposed to make judgments.

He said the observers would visit several hundred polling stations and their preliminary and final reports would be based on the data collected by the team members.

Gahler said the law and order situation and overall security scenario had improved a lot as compared with the 2013 general elections as he was the EUEOM’s chief observer then as well.

He said it was not surprising that terrorist outfits were targeting the election campaign and that was why the country experienced three or four terror attacks.

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