Commonwealth Election Reports

2310-1512 (online)
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Commonwealth Election Reports, the reports of Commonwealth Observer Groups, Missions or Expert Teams, are independently prepared by the team members as a contribution to the democracy and consensus-building in Commonwealth countries.
Pakistan General Elections, 11 May 2013

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Commonwealth Observer Mission
17 July 2013
9781848591660 (PDF)

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The report of the Commonwealth Observer Mission for the Pakistan elections, held 11 May 2013. The Mission was led by Sir Douglas Kidd, former Speaker of the House of Representatives of New Zealand, and was comprised of 13 eminent persons.

The Commonwealth Observer Mission found that, despite significant security concerns and electionrelated violence, Pakistani voters turned out in large numbers to cast their ballot and express their will. The report offered various recommendations to help improve aspects of the electoral process, including: the need to ensure greater inclusion and participation of women in the political and electoral process; overcoming the challenges faced by the Election Commission of Pakistan in ensuring enforcement of the campaign code of conduct; and a review of the limits on campaign spending.
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  • Letter of Transmittal
  • Introduction

    The Commonwealth Observer Mission for the 2013 elections in Pakistan was led by the Hon Sir Douglas Kidd, former Speaker of the House of Representatives of New Zealand, and comprised eight eminent persons in total. The Observer Mission was supported by a five-person team from the Commonwealth Secretariat. A full list of members is at Annex 1.

  • Political Background

    The 2002 elections in Pakistan were held under the presidency of military leader General Pervez Musharraf, as part of a ‘roadmap to democracy’.

  • Electoral Framework and Election Administration

    For the purpose of electing the National Assembly2 the country is divided into 272 single member constituencies. Constituencies are established in each area on the basis of population size. The number of seats in each area is provided in the table below. The electoral system for the National Assembly general seats is based on the single-member constituencies where members are elected by direct vote through a first-past-the-post (simple majority) system.

  • Election Campaign and Media

    One hundred and forty eight political parties contested the national and provincial assembly elections. The main parties were: the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) (which contests elections as the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP)), the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Awami National Party (ANP), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).

  • Voting, Counting and Results

    Polling was scheduled to take place from 08.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs in 69,729 polling stations across the country. In most instances polling stations were divided into male and female streams.

  • Conclusions and Recommendations

    Pakistani voters turned out in very large numbers on 11 May 2013 to cast their ballots and express their will to elect their Provincial and National representatives. The elections were credible and represent notable progress for Pakistan towards holding fully democratic elections.

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