The highly anticipated general elections in Pakistan are scheduled to be held on 25th July 2018. A few weeks before the elections, DRI with support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launched the “Election Guide, All You Need to Know for Pakistan’s 2018 General Elections” on 5th July 2018 in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The event was organised to promote stakeholder awareness of the electoral framework in Pakistan and to facilitate the work of domestic and international observers, the media and civil society, by providing access to the Elections Guide. More than 75 members from civil society, including journalists, political party representatives, and members of the EU election observer mission, attended the event.
Speaking at the occasion, DRI Pakistan’s Country Representative, Mr. Javed Malik, said:
“The Elections Guide provides an up-to-date summary of key features of the electoral framework in Pakistan. The Guide is based on improvements made in the legal framework through the Elections Act 2017, which is an outcome of long and multi-partisan efforts aimed at electoral reforms. It is DRI’s hope that the information provided by the Election Guide will help facilitate and inform a useful discussion about the electoral process in Pakistan. There is every reason to be hopeful that the Election Commission will succeed in the delivery of well organized and fair elections. They already have made excellent arrangements. Now is the time to deliver on these well intended efforts, and we hope the Election Guide will assist all stakeholders to achieve just that.”
UNDP’s Chief Technical Advisor, Mr. Darren Nance, while addressing participants, added:
“We note the positive initiatives the Election Commission of Pakistan have undertaken to bolster inclusion, access and transparency in the electoral process. We hope this Election Guide serves as a clearing house of information and repository for research on Pakistan’s electoral process.”
The Guide consistently refers to both international standards and Pakistan’s regulatory framework for all phases of the electoral cycle. It also provides sources of further information to equip stakeholders with detailed knowledge regarding the different aspects of the electoral cycle in Pakistan. Information on caretaker governments, electoral roll, delimitation, electoral dispute resolution, and election security is also provided.
Following the lead of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s endeavours to increase participation of marginalised groups in the electoral process, participation of women, minorities and persons with disabilities is given special attention within the Guide. The important role of journalists is catered to with tips for media reporting and issues for consideration while covering the General Elections 2018 in Pakistan.
The Elections Guide, in both English and Urdu, is supplemented with a mobile application, ‘Elections Guide 2018’ (both Android and IOS), along with a website for easy access.