EU says, Pakistan’s polls show commitment of people to Democracy

Islamabad: The turnout in Pakistan’s election reflected people’s commitment to democratic rule, an European Union (EU) mission observing the landmark event said on Monday.

“Election day showed the commitment of the people of Pakistan to democratic governance by overcoming militant violence. We saw a competitive process, with twice as many candidates as there were in 2008,” said Michael Gahler, chief observer of the EU Election Observation Mission.

The European Union (EU) mission noted that the targeting of three secular-leaning parties – Pakistan People’s Party, Awami National Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement – by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan “unbalanced the playing field and distorted the election process considerably in affected areas”.

There were 130 attacks resulting in the death of 150 people in the last four weeks. The majority of the attacks took place in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, followed by Sindh and Punjab. Most of the attacks were directed against candidates and supporters of parties identified as secular, the statement said.

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