ECP gives cold shoulder to international election observers

May 16, 2018

A Pakistani voter casts his ballot in a by-election in Lahore on September 17, 2017. Photo: AFP

We will not invite any international observers in the upcoming election, said the Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday.

Whoever wants to come to observe the election from outside of Pakistan is responsible for getting their security clearance, said the ECP. The election management body has come up with its code of conduct for international observers.

According to the code, international observers will have to apply for Pakistani visa at least two months ahead of their planned arrival. The interior ministry will get four weeks for security clearance and the observers will be granted a stay in Pakistan lasting four to six weeks only.

The code of conduct says that the observers will stay away from media during the election process. They will not be allowed to give media statements either.

According to the ECP, the interior ministry will issue a security advisory for international observers. Special passes will be issued to them and they will not be allowed to meet any candidates or political leaders.

The government’s term ends May 31, after which a caretaker setup will take over the affairs of the country and hold the next general elections.