The European Union (EU) has expressed concerns about the fairness of the General Elections in Pakistan held on February 8.
The EU, along with the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK), raised issues regarding transparency in the election process.
In an official statement, the EU acknowledged the completion of the polling but highlighted the challenges, including delays and security concerns.
Despite these challenges, the EU recognized the commitment of the Pakistani people to democracy and the rule of law, especially noting the increased participation of women compared to previous elections.
However, the EU expressed regret over the lack of a level playing field due to certain political actors being unable to contest, restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression (both online and offline),
limited internet access, and allegations of interference in the electoral process, including arrests of political activists.
Acknowledging the security threats faced by authorities, the EU condemned all acts of violence during the lead-up to the elections.
The EU called on all parties to resolve differences through peaceful and democratic means, avoiding further violence.
Emphasizing the importance of political pluralism, democratic values, independent media, civil society, judicial independence,
and international human rights standards, the EU urged all political actors in Pakistan to engage in a peaceful and inclusive dialogue for the formation of a stable government while respecting human rights.
The EU reaffirmed Pakistan’s significance as a partner and expressed a commitment to work with the government on shared priorities outlined in the EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan.
Additionally, the EU encouraged Pakistan to continue reforms in areas such as human rights, governance, labor rights, and environmental standards, addressing concerns highlighted in the GSP+ report of November 2023 and pursuing necessary economic reforms.