FAFEN to Observe First Phase of Local Government Elections

ISLAMABAD, October 30, 2015: The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) will observe the first phase of Local Government elections in 12 districts of Punjab and eight districts of Sindh tomorrow, says a press release issued here on Friday.

The election observation will be conducted by a total of 1,327 trained and non-partisan observers (994 in Punjab and 333 in Sindh), who will collect the polling data from 1,121 Union Councils (843 in Punjab and 278 in Sindh) and 823 wards (604 in Punjab and 219 in Sindh).

According to the ECP instructions provided to FAFEN on Friday, observers will be required to have their accreditation signed by the Presiding Officers of the polling stations they observe along with the name of the Presiding Officers and their designations. FAFEN will return all the accreditation cards to the ECP as a proof that the polling stations were observed. In addition, any observer may also be required to appear as a witness as and when ECP deems fit in any administrative or judicial proceedings.

All observers are required to follow the ECP Code of Conduct for Observers and will be responsible to adhere to electoral laws and regulations through their observation, which have also been covered in their trainings. The observers have been instructed to remain impartial, non-partisan, independent and autonomous in observing elections as their work is crucial to improving the quality of future elections. The purpose of FAFEN’s observation is to provide independent and impartial information on the electoral process in order to develop evidence-based recommendations for improvement.

According to FAFEN’s methodology, each observer will observe four polling stations through the day and spend approximately 45 to 60 minutes at each polling station to collect information and document his/her findings on the standardized checklists. Each observer will also observe counting at one polling station.

Simultaneously, FAFEN will monitor 12 media channels throughout the day and gather information on issues regarding the conduct of election. A Call Center consisting of 24 call agents will also be set up at FAFEN Secretariat to get direct information from observers and document the electoral irregularities.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has granted accreditation to FAFEN’s observers after getting undertaking from the Secretariat on the conduct and scrutiny of observers.

The first phase of Local Government elections in Punjab will be held in 12 districts comprising Gujrat, Lahore, Okara, Faisalabad, Bhakkar, Kasur, Nankana Sahib, Lodhran, Pakpattan, Vehari, Chakwal and Bahawalnagar.

Similarly, Local Government elections will be held in eight districts of Sindh, consisting of Khairpur, Sukkur, Larkana, Ghotki, Shikarpur, Qambar Shahdadkot, Jacobabad and Kashmore.

To download Urdu Version of the Press Release, click here