EU launches Election Observation Mission to Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for the general elections to be held in Pakistan on July 25 was officially launched on Thursday by Chief Observer, Michael Gahler, a member of the European Parliament from Germany.

The European Union deploying an EOM to observe the elections is welcomed by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

"When the long-term observers arrive in their areas of observation, they will start to meet with election officials, candidates and representatives of civil society. They will report their observations back to the core team in Islamabad, and these will contribute to the mission's informed and impartial assessment of the electoral process," explained Gahler.

"The elections on 25 July mark an important stage in Pakistan's democratic development, and I very much hope that our presence will contribute to a transparent electoral process."

The mission is currently made up of a core team of 10 election analysts based in Islamabad. Sixty long-term observers will arrive over the next few days and will be deployed across the country in early July.

The EU deployed election observation missions to Pakistan in 2002, 2008 and 2013, with the last two being led by Gahler.

"It is a great privilege to have been given this opportunity to lead once again the EU Election Observation Mission to Pakistan," said Gahler at a press conference in Islamabad.