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Featured Press Release

Turn-out Drop, Low Incidence of Irregularities Mark By-Elections

ISLAMABAD, October 22, 2018: A perplexing drop in voters’ turnout characterizes an otherwise well-managed by-elections held in one national and two provincial assembly constituencies on October 21, 2018, warranting an urgent attention of political parties to address the dwindling public interest in the electoral process, which remained high only three months ago during the General Elections (GE) 2018. Procedural irregularities such as restrictions on polling agents were observed to have increased during these by-elections, more on Karachi seats (NA-247 Karachi South-II and PS-111 Karachi South-V) than on Peshawar seat (PK-71 Peshawar VI), wherein 15 percent of observed polling stations, polling agents were seated at a place where they could not observe the polling process. In addition, the by-elections also recorded an increase in the number of ballots excluded from the count at the polling stations. Read more

Results Management Improves in Low Turnout By-Elections

ISLAMABAD, October 16, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) observed significant improvement in the quality of the election result management process during low-turnout October 14 by-elections, which remained peaceful throughout the day, says a press statement released on Tuesday. While a considerable decline in the turnout in these constituencies as compared to July 25, 2018 is disconcerting, the transparency and efficiency of vote counting at the polling stations and tabulation of the provisional results by the Returning Officers (Form-47-Provisional Consolidated Statement of the Result of the Count) was encouraging, improving the overall credibility of the electoral process. With the exception of PB-40 (Khuzdar-III), provisional results for the remaining constituencies were finalized by 2:00 am deadlines as stipulated by Section 13 (3) of the Elections Act, 2017. Read more

Sindh Assembly: 56% Lawmakers Take Part in Budget Discussion

ISLAMABAD, October 1, 2018: As many as 93 out of 165 (56%) sitting lawmakers participated in the general discussion on budget 2018-19 held during the second session of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Session Report. The House met for 46 hours and 36 minutes cumulatively during eight sittings held between September 17, 2018 and September 30, 2018. Of this cumulative duration, two hours and 50 minutes were lost in suspension of proceedings due to prayer breaks. Each sitting started 56 minutes behind its scheduled time and continued for five hours and 49 minutes, on average. Read more

President Addresses Joint Session of Parliament

ISLAMABAD, September 17, 2018: The newly elected President of Pakistan Dr. Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi on Monday addressed both Houses of the Parliament assembled together on the beginning of the first parliamentary year of the National Assembly, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). The sitting started 15 minutes behind the schedule, lasting 40 minutes during which the President spoke on national issues for 24 minutes. The Presidential Address is mandatory under the Constitution at the start of each parliamentary year. Read More >>

Senate Leaves 40 Percent Agenda Unaddressed during 281st Session

ISLAMABAD, September 5, 2018: The House of Federation did not address 40% of its scheduled business during 281st session. The House witnessed change in its leadership following the formation of PTI-led new government at the federal level. Senator Shibli Faraz of the ruling party was notified as the Leader of the House while Senator Raja Zafar-ul-Haq of PML-N became the Leader of the Opposition. The House considered 35 (59%) of 59 agenda items appearing on Orders of the Day set for six-sitting session. Of the remaining agenda, 23 items were never taken up while one was dropped due to absence of the concerned lawmaker. Most of the left-over agenda belonged to private lawmakers set for consideration on private members’ day (Monday). Read More >>

Profiles of Provincial Assemblies 2018 – 2023

ISLAMABAD, August 24, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has compiled the Profiles of the Members of all Provincial Assemblies (MPAs) who started their five-year term in August 2018. This detailed analysis report includes the party position of the MPAs, their qualifications, professional diversity, contribution to party funds, pending criminal cases, and their assets. The report is based on the information contained in Form-B and Affidavits as annexed to the Nomination Papers submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by the contesting candidates of General Election 2018. Values in foreign currency have been converted in to Pakistani Rupee using the online currency conversion utility Oanda at the rate applicable on the date of submission of Statement of Assets and Liabilities, while value of gold (where not mentioned) has been calculated at the rate of 60,000 PKR per Tola. Read More >>

15th National Assembly Profile

ISLAMABAD, August 16, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has released the Profile of 15th National Assembly (NA), which was sworn in on August 13, 2018. Currently, there are 330 members in the House. As many as nine seats have been vacated by the legislators who had won more than one seat in GE-2018. Moreover, two general seats are vacant due to postponement of the election while a woman-reserved seat of KP is also vacant. The incumbent Assembly has a representation of 12 political parties as compared to 18 parties represented in the previous Assembly. Additionally, there are four independent legislators in the House. This report is based on information contained in Form B and Affidavits as annexed to the Nomination Papers submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan by the candidates for General Election 2018. Read More >>

FAFEN’s Analysis of Voter Turnout in GE-2018

Islamabad, August 12, 2018: Although national voter turnout decreased marginally from 53.62% in 2013 to 51.99% in General Election 2018 (GE-2018), as many as 8.45 million more voters turned out to vote as compared to General Election 2013 (GE2013), indicating an abiding commitment and interest of citizens to exercise their right to choose their government representatives. The significant increase in the number of voters is primarily due to an unprecedented increase in voter registration between the two general elections – from 86.18 million in 2013 to 105.96 million in 2018. The increase in the number of registered voters in the five years between the 2013 and 2018 elections (19.77 million) was more than the increase in the 10 years between the 2002 and 2013 elections (14.27 million). Similarly, between polls in 2002 and 2008, only 8.88 million were added to the electoral rolls, and between polls in 2008 and 2013, the voter population increased by a mere 5.39 million. Read More >>

Nearly 1.67 Million Ballots Excluded from the Count in General Election 2018

Islamabad, August 3, 2018: The number of ballot papers excluded from the count in General Elections 2018 surpassed the number of ballots rejected in General Elections 2013. Nearly 1.67 million ballots were excluded from the count in GE-2018. This number may slightly vary after the final consolidated result is released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as the ballots excluded from the count at the polling station level by Presiding Officers are to be reviewed by the Returning Officers during the consolidation proceedings, who can either reject them or count them in favor of a candidate if excluded wrongly. The increase in the number of ballots excluded from the count was a ubiquitous phenomenon observed in all provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory with nearly 11.7% overall increase. In Islamabad Capital Territory, the number of ballots excluded from the count is more than double the rejected ballots in the region in GE-2013. Around 40% increase in the number of ballots excluded from the count was observed in Balochistan, 30.6 % increase in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), 7% increase in Sindh and 6.6% increase in Punjab. Read More >>

General Election 2018: FAFEN’s Preliminary Election Observation Report

ISLAMABAD, July 27, 2018: More than half of Pakistan’s registered voters went to the polls on July 25, 2018 to mark the second consecutive democratic transition of power, clearing the uncertainties over the future of democracy in the country. The election campaign was long-drawn and competitive, in an extremely polarized political environment punctuated by a few major terrorist attacks. Election Day was better managed, relatively peaceful and free of any major controversy until late night concerns emerged over the transparency of the counting process, and the subsequent slow process of announcement of provisional results prompted some political parties to reject the election results. Despite issues with the Result Transmission System (RTS) set in place by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to meet the requirements of the new Election Law that was enacted in October 2017, Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) acknowledges significant improvements in the quality of critical electoral processes in the election cycle that inspired greater public confidence. With regard to voter registration, with a particular focus on increasing women enrollment on electoral rolls, and greater diligence in following legally defined principles in delimitation and effective enforcement of campaign rules, the Election Commission appeared to be more assertive in its attempt to deliver an improved quality of election. Read More >>

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