FAFEN to Deploy 19,000 Citizens for Election-Day Observation

ISLAMABAD, July 15, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), a coalition of over 50 leading civil society organizations, will deploy 19,000 observers across 272 National Assembly consistencies to observe the voting and counting processes at 85 percent of the total polling stations established by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the General Election to be held on July 25, 2018.

Acceding to FAFEN’s request, the ECP has directed the Provincial Election Commissioners (PECs) in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh to issue accreditation cards to FAFEN observers after fulfillment of all codal formalities. FAFEN will deploy 9,884 observers in Punjab, 4,225 in Sindh, 3,549 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (including FATA), 1,117 in Balochistan and 225 in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). FAFEN’s accredited non-partisan and trained citizens will observe the Election-Day environment outside polling stations, incidents of electoral and political violence, pre-polling preparations at the polling stations, voting processes inside the polling booths and stations, ballot, vote counting and ECP forms-filling processes at the polling stations and the barriers to women voting.

FAFEN observers will also be trained to gather the required data and documentation from the assigned polling stations to enable FAFEN to conduct Parallel Vote Tabulations (PVTs) in up to 272 National Assembly constituencies. The PVTs will provide a comparison of a statistically-valid sample of polling stations’ vote-tallies gathered by the election-day observers against official copies of the election forms. FAFEN will also observe the vote consolidation process at the Returning Officers (ROs) offices in constituencies through 272 constituency coordinators. Based on its observation, FAFEN will be publically releasing its preliminary report on July 27, 2018.

In addition to the Election-Day observation, FAFEN has been observing the pre-election phase through 272 constituency coordinators and 130 district coordinators to provide an assessment of the political environment and implementation of election-related laws, rules and regulations since January 2018. The purpose of this 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 has produced 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 ECP, political parties, media, civil society organizations and the citizens.

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