‘Severe worries’: World reacts to Pakistan polls as vote count continues | Elections News
Countries including the US and the UK called on authorities to investigate reported irregularities in Pakistan’s election.
Several countries have asked authorities to investigate reported irregularities in Pakistan’s general elections as vote counting continues.
Results started coming in almost 12 hours after voting for national and regional assemblies ended on Thursday.
Independent candidates linked to jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), are taking a narrow lead.
Polls were marred by violence by armed groups and widespread criticism of restrictions on mobile phone services that prompted accusations of “political engineering”.
The army said that around 12 people were killed and 39 wounded across the country in attacks aimed at disrupting the vote.
Here are some global thoughts on events so far:
The US State Department has said it looks forward to “timely and complete election results” from Pakistan reflecting the will of its people.
“The United States is prepared to work with the next government of Pakistan, regardless of political party, to advance our common interests,” he said in a statement.
“We join prominent international and local election observers in their assessment that these elections involved undue restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly,” he said.
“We condemn election violence … Claims of fraud or fraud should be fully investigated.”
The United Kingdom raised “significant concerns raised about the fairness and lack of inclusiveness of the elections”.
In a statement, Foreign Secretary David Cameron said that “not all parties” were able to contest the election formally and that “legal processes” had been used to prevent some political leaders. to participate.
He also noted restrictions on internet access, as well as delays and irregularities in reporting.
“The UK urges the authorities in Pakistan to respect basic human rights including free access to information, and the rule of law,” said Cameron.
“The new government must be accountable to the people it serves, and work to represent the interests of all citizens and communities of Pakistan with fairness and justice,” he said.
We recognize serious concerns about the fairness and lack of inclusiveness of Pakistan’s elections.
Authorities must respect basic human rights including free access to information and the rule of law.
I recommend everyone who voted. https://t.co/15U4EcmRjK
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) February 9, 2024
The European Union has praised the “continued commitment to democracy” by the people of Pakistan.
However, the bloc said, “We regret that we do not have a fair chance due to the inability of some political actors to contest the elections, restrictions on freedom of assembly, freedom of expression both online and offline , restriction of access to the Internet, as well as allegations of serious violations in the electoral process, including the arrest of political activists.”
The EU called on authorities to “ensure a full and timely investigation of all reported electoral irregularities”.
“Iran’s FM spokesman congratulated the government and people of Pakistan on successfully holding their parliamentary elections, saying it shows the strong role of democracy in the country,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said. posted on the X social media platform.
She said that the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nasser Kanaani “wished success to the brotherly, friendly and neighboring country of Pakistan”.