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European Union is deploying an election observation mission to observe General Elections of 11 May in Pakistan

Islamabad, April 02, 2013 (PPI-OT): The European Union, in response to an invitation by the Pakistan authorities, is deploying an election observation mission to observe the General Elections of 11 May. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy, has nominated Mr Michael Gahler, MEP, as Chief Observer for this mission.

Mr Gahler was also the EU’s Chief Observer for the 2008 elections in Pakistan, and has participated in a number of other observation missions. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy, made the following statement today: “The forthcoming parliamentary elections in Pakistan will be a historical moment for the democratic development of the country as they mark, for the first time, the transition of power from one elected government to the next.

I am confident that all stakeholders will engage in the process in a peaceful and democratic way. In view of its long-standing support to the democratic process in Pakistan I have decided, upon an invitation from the Authorities, to deploy an EU Election Observation Mission for these elections. I am confident that under the leadership of MEP Michael Gahler this EOM will enhance the confidence of Pakistani voters in the process. I wish Mr Gahler and his team all success in their assessment of the electoral process.”

Mr Gahler will arrive in Islamabad on 7 April. A core team of eleven EU election analysts will be deployed in Pakistan in the coming days. They will gradually be joined by 52 long-term observers and 46 short-term observers from the 27 EU Member States, as well as from Norway, Switzerland and Canada. In total, about one hundred EU observers will be in the country for the forthcoming elections.

The EU EOM might also be joined by a delegation from the European Parliament on Election Day. Shortly after Election Day, the mission will issue a preliminary statement of its initial findings at a press conference in Islamabad. The mission will remain in Pakistan to observe the final counting of votes and any complaint procedures, and to prepare a full report including recommendations to improve the electoral process.

For more information, contact:
Ms Ayesha Babar
Press and PR Officer
Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan
Phone: +92-51-227 182 8
Fax: 92-51- 282 260 4
Email: Ayesha.Babar@eeas.europa.eu

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