FAFEN’S Analysis of Voter Turnout in GE-2018

FAFEN’s Analysis of Voter Turnout in GE-2018

Islamabad, August 12, 2018: Although national voter turnout decreased marginally from 53.62% in 2013 to 51.99% in General Election 2018 (GE-2018), as many as 8.45 million more voters turned out to vote as compared to General Election 2013 (GE2013), indicating an abiding commitment and interest of citizens to exercise their right to choose their government representatives.

The significant increase in the number of voters is primarily due to an unprecedented increase in voter registration between the two general elections – from 86.18 million in 2013 to 105.96 million in 2018. The increase in the number of registered voters in the five years between the 2013 and 2018 elections (19.77 million) was more than the increase in the 10 years between the 2002 and 2013 elections (14.27 million). Similarly, between polls in 2002 and 2008, only 8.88 million were added to the electoral rolls, and between polls in 2008 and 2013, the voter population increased by a mere 5.39 million. Read More >>

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Nearly 1.67 Million Ballots Excluded from the Count in General Election 2018

Nearly 1.67 Million Ballots Excluded from the Count in General Election 2018

Islamabad, August 3, 2018: The number of ballot papers excluded from the count in General Elections 2018 surpassed the number of ballots rejected in General Elections 2013. Nearly 1.67 million ballots were excluded from the count in GE-2018. This number may slightly vary after the final consolidated result is released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as the ballots excluded from the count at the polling station level by Presiding Officers are to be reviewed by the Returning Officers during the consolidation proceedings, who can either reject them or count them in favor of a candidate if excluded wrongly.

The increase in the number of ballots excluded from the count was a ubiquitous phenomenon observed in all provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory with nearly 11.7% overall increase. In Islamabad Capital Territory, the number of ballots excluded from the count is more than double the rejected ballots in the region in GE-2013. Around 40% increase in the number of ballots excluded from the count was observed in Balochistan, 30.6 % increase in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), 7% increase in Sindh and 6.6% increase in Punjab. Read More >>

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General Election 2018: FAFEN’s Preliminary Election Observation Report

General Election 2018: FAFEN’s Preliminary Election Observation Report

ISLAMABAD, July 27, 2018: More than half of Pakistan’s registered voters went to the polls on July 25, 2018 to mark the second consecutive democratic transition of power, clearing the uncertainties over the future of democracy in the country. The election campaign was long-drawn and competitive, in an extremely polarized political environment punctuated by a few major terrorist attacks. Election Day was better managed, relatively peaceful and free of any major controversy until late night concerns emerged over the transparency of the counting process, and the subsequent slow process of announcement of provisional results prompted some political parties to reject the election results.

Despite issues with the Result Transmission System (RTS) set in place by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to meet the requirements of the new Election Law that was enacted in October 2017, Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) acknowledges significant improvements in the quality of critical electoral processes in the election cycle that inspired greater public confidence. With regard to voter registration, with a particular focus on increasing women enrollment on electoral rolls, and greater diligence in following legally defined principles in delimitation and effective enforcement of campaign rules, the Election Commission appeared to be more assertive in its attempt to deliver an improved quality of election. Read More >>

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General Election 2018: Assessment of Polling Stations

ISLAMABAD, July 24, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has been conducting periodic assessments of the political environment and the implementation of election-related laws, rules and regulations since January 2018, as part of its multi-phase observation of General Elections (GE) 2018. The purpose of the observation is to contribute to the evolution of an election process that is free, fair, transparent and accountable, in accordance with the requirements laid out in the Elections Act, 2017. FAFEN produces regular updates, information briefs and reports to provide objective, impartial and evidence-based information regarding the quality of electoral and political processes to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), political parties, the media, civil society organizations, and citizens.

This assessment of polling stations comprises analysis of the Final Lists of Polling Stations available on the ECP’s website, and findings by FAFEN observers on the availability of facilities at 10,895 polling stations in sampled electoral areas, perceptions of 1,574 National Assembly (NA) candidates regarding the process of finalizing polling stations and estimations by 12,104 citizens concerning ease of access. As part of its election observation methodology, FAFEN randomly sampled 50 electoral areas in each NA constituency. Read More >>

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FAFEN Election Campaign Monitor

ISLAMABAD, July 20, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) is observing the electoral and political environment in the country since January 2018. Following the announcement of the election program for General Election 2018, FAFEN expanded the scope of its election observation from the district to the constituency level. This Election Campaign Monitor is based on the direct observation of election campaign activities and implementation of Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Contesting Candidates, media monitoring of electoral violence, and citizens’ interviews on electioneering, voter freedom, women’s enjoyment of voting rights and voter inducement.

As part of its election observation methodology, FAFEN randomly sampled 50 electoral areas in each National Assembly (NA) constituency. In each sampled electoral area, FAFEN interviewed three citizens, including women, to gauge citizens interest in participating in political gatherings and gather their views on the political environment, election campaign, and women’s freedom to vote. FAFEN observers also conducted an assessment of campaigning activities and recorded violations of ECP’s Code of Conduct in the sampled electoral areas. Read More >>

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FAFEN Releases Fifth Update on Long-Term Observation of General Election 2018

ISLAMABAD, July 1, 2018: The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has released its 5th Update of the Long-Term Observation of General Election 2018, containing information on the political and electoral environment in the country from June 1 to June 30, 2018. The Election Update also tells about the finalization of polling stations by the Election Commission of Pakistan, information on the nomination process of contesting candidates, inauguration of development schemes and the incidence of political and electoral violence, besides other issues of importance. Read More >>

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General Election 2018 Update on Citizens’ Observation of Electoral and Political Environment

General Election 2018 Update on Citizens’ Observation of Electoral and Political Environment

ISLAMABAD, May 31, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) releases its third update on the electoral and political environment based on the information gathered systematically in 130 districts of the country by as many trained and non-partisan District Coordinators (DCs) during the first fortnight of May 2018 through 296 interviews with representatives of 32 political parties and groups on the general political environment. Moreover, DCs also conducted 87 interviews with representatives of 14 political parties on the delimitation process. In addition to documenting district-level political alignments and realignments prior to the GE 2018, the Update also includes the findings of observation of 400 political gatherings across the country.
The General Elections 2018 Update-III also comprises data gathered through systematic monitoring of 86 editions of 25 local, regional and national newspapers (14 Urdu, 10 English, and one Sindhi newspaper) in order to report the incidents of political and electoral violence, as well as to document the politically-motivated advertisements in the press. Read More >>

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FAFEN Releases Second Update on General Election 2018

ISLAMABAD, May 20, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) released its Second Update on General Election 2018 on Sunday comprising observation of political and electoral preparations in the month of April. The purpose of observation is to contribute to the evolution of an election process that is free, fair, transparent and accountable, in accordance with the requirements laid out in the Elections Act, 2017.

FAFEN initiated its assessment of the political environment and implementation of election-related laws, rules and regulations in January 2018 as part of its multi-phase observation of General Election (GE) 2018. The purpose of the observation is to contribute to the evolution of an election process that is free, fair, transparent and accountable, in accordance with the requirements laid out in the Elections Act, 2017. Based on its observation, FAFEN produces periodic updates, information briefs and reports in an effort to provide objective, unbiased and evidence-based information about the quality of electoral and political processes to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), political parties, media, civil society organizations and citizens. Read More >>

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FAFEN Releases First Pre-Election Long-Term Election Observation Report

ISLAMABAD, April 24, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has started pre-election long-term observation activities in 130 districts across Pakistan to assess the political environment and implementation of election-related laws, rules and regulations as part of its multi-phase observation of General Election (GE) 2018.

In its General Election 2018 Update-I being released today, FAFEN has compiled the observations recorded by its Long Term Observers (LTOs) between January 2018 to March 2018 to provide objective, unbiased and evidence-based information about the quality of electoral and political processes to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), political parties, media, civil society organizations and citizens.

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Equality of Vote Compromised in 92 PA Constituencies

Equality of Vote Compromised in 92 PA Constituencies

ISLAMABAD, April 10, 2018: Examination of the recently issued preliminary report of draft proposals for the delimitation of constituencies reveals that adherence to the principle of equality of vote – a key principle for ensuring equitable political representation – is compromised in 92 proposed Provincial Assembly (PA) constituencies, including 26 in Balochistan, 22 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 21 in Punjab, and 23 in Sindh. These proposed constituencies deviate by more than 10% from their respective provincial average population per PA constituency; exceeding the ordinarily permissible variation range of 10% established by the law.

Of 92 PA constituencies, 72 constituencies have been suggested with a variation rate between 11% and 20%, nine constituencies have variation between 21% and 30%, seven constituencies have a higher degree of variation between 31% and 40%, three constituencies have a variation between 41% and 50% while in case of one Balochistan PA constituency, this variation is exorbitantly higher than 50%.

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