FAFEN Expands into Pakistan’s First Network of Networks

  • FAFEN now comprises 20 regional networks with accumulative membership of more than 500 CSOs
  • New Chairperson and Executive Council sworn in

KARACHI, December 25, 2021: The Free and Fair Election Network’s (FAFEN) newly-elected Chairperson and Members of the Executive Council were sworn in during a ceremony held within National Council’s meeting to mark the completion of FAFEN’s transition from a network of civil society organizations (CSOs) to a network of 20 independent regional networks across Pakistan with an accumulative membership of over 500 sub-district- (tehsil) level CSOs.

FAFEN’s outgoing Chairperson, Mr. Hameedullah Kakar, took the oath of FAFEN’s newly elected Chairperson Ms. Mossarat Qadeem, who in turn took the oath of FAFEN’s Executive Council Members including Mr. Sajid Ali and Mr. Zahid Iqbal from Punjab, Mr. Mukhtar Javed from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Nasrullah and Mr. Hameedullah Kakar from Balochistan, Mr. Younas Bandhani and Mr. Jan Odhano from Sindh, and Ms. Anbreen Ajaib. The outgoing Chairperson felicitated the new Chairperson and Members of the Executive Council. Ms. Mossarat Qadeem acknowledged the role of the outgoing Chairperson, and pledged to steer FAFEN to new successes while adhering to its guiding principles and rules.

The year-long transition process started in December 2020 and included mobilization of sub-district- (tehsil) level CSOs for the establishment of regional networks, and elections of their Regional Councils in September 2021. The elections for Provincial Councils were held in October 2021, while the elections for the Executive Council were held in November 2021.

At the ceremony, all the National Council members collectively resolved to continue their efforts for strengthening democratic accountabilities. The National Council comprises six members from Punjab, six from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, five from Sindh and two from Balochistan of leading civil society organizations including BEDARI, Center for Peace and Development (CPD), Farmers Development Organization (FDO), Youth Organization (YO), Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO), Samaj Development Foundation (SDF), Community Development Foundation (CDF), Baanh Baeli (BB), United Rural Development Organization (URDO), Takhleeq Foundation (TF), PAIMAN Alumni Trust, Community Development Program (CDP), Sangat Development Foundation (Sangat), SUNGI Development Foundation (Sungi), Sudhaar Society (Sudhaar), Integrated Regional Support Programme (IRSP), Community Awareness Raising Advocacy Venture Around Needs (CARAVAN), Welfare Association Jared (WAJ) and Goth Seengar Foundation (GSF).

Formed in November 2006, FAFEN has been actively engaged in election observation, voter education, electoral and parliamentary research and contributing towards improvements in the electoral processes in Pakistan. FAFEN observed the General Elections (GE) 2008, 2013 and 2018 through non-partisan and duly ECP-accredited observers, and timely reported on the quality of electoral process as well as furnished recommendations for electoral reforms. FAFEN’s efforts for better electoral environment have duly been acknowledged by the ECP, political parties, national and international media, civil society and international election observation groups. The transformation into a network of networks will enable FAFEN to further enhance its capacity to engage in diverse programming aimed at social, economic, cultural and political development across Pakistan.