ISLAMABAD: Free and Fair Election Network’s (FAFEN) Long-Term Observers interviewed Returning Officers (ROs), District Returning Officers (DROs) and District Election Commissioners (DECs) in 48 constituencies and 35 districts, regarding their meetings with election stakeholders at district and constituency levels. These meetings, we believe, are essential for security and logistical planning and to ensure transparency, efficiency and accountability in administration of the elections, says Pre-Election Update 41 released on Thursday.
The election officials who were interviewed between April 23 and 30, 2013 reportedly held a total of 72 meetings with election stakeholders.
Free and Fair Election Network’s (FAFEN) District and Constituency Long-Term Observers (DLTOs and CLTOs) deployed across the country conducted these interviews in 23 constituencies of 15 districts in Punjab, 12 constituencies of eight districts in Sindh, nine constituencies in eight districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and two constituencies each in two districts of Balochistan and two Agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
According to FAFEN observers, election officials in 48 constituencies and 35 districts reported holding 12 meetings (17%) with other election officials and 16 meetings (22%) with other government officials. Eight meetings (11%) were held with security officials. Another one-third of meetings (23, or 32%) were held with candidates or political party representatives. Five meetings each (7%) were with international observer groups and media representatives. Three meetings (4%) were held with Pakistani civil society organizations.
In 23 Punjab constituencies of 15 districts, election officials reported holding 29 meetings with stakeholders between April 23 and 30, 2013.
Two meetings (7%) were with other election officials and eight meetings (28%) were with other government officials. Only four reported meetings (14%) were held with security officials, and only five meetings (17%) were with candidates or political party representatives. Another five meetings were with international observer groups, three (10%) were with media, and two (7%) with civil society organizations.
FAFEN observers interviewed election officials in 12 constituencies of eight districts of Sindh, where 23 meetings were held with various election stakeholders.
Half of election officials’ meetings in Sindh (11, or 48%) were held with other election officials (6 meetings, or 26%) and other government officials (5 meetings, or 22%). Only two meetings (9%) were with security officials. One-third of meetings (8, or 35%) were with candidates or political party representatives. One meeting (4%) each was held with media and civil society organizations. No election officials in Sindh reported meeting international observer groups.
In nine constituencies of eight districts of KP, election officials reported holding 13 meetings with various election stakeholders.
The election officials in KP reported holding five meetings (38%) with government officials, including four (31%) with other election officials. Only one meeting (8%) was reported with security officials. More than half of reported meetings (7, or 54%) were with candidates or political party representatives. No meetings were reported with media, international observers or Pakistani civil society.
Election officials in two constituencies of Balochistan held one meeting with other government officials and one with candidates or political party representatives. Election officials in two constituencies of two FATA Agencies reported holding five meetings with stakeholders. Two meetings were held with candidates or political party representatives, and one each was held with other government officials, security officials, and media.