Washington/Islamabad: The US and the European Union (EU) expressed concern on Friday about “flaws” in the campaign process leading up to the Pakistani election this week.
“These included constraints placed on freedoms of expression and association during the campaign period that were at odds with Pakistani authorities’ stated goal of a fully fair and transparent election,” the US state department said in a statement.
An EU monitoring team said on Friday that the election campaign for Pakistan’s general election featured a “lack of equality” that meant it was not a level playing field for all parties.
“Although there were several legal provisions aimed at ensuring a level playing field, we have concluded that there was a lack of equality and (of) opportunity,” Michael Gahler, chief observer of the EU Election Observation Mission, told a news conference in its preliminary assessment of the poll.
Pakistan cricket legend-turned-politician Imran Khan has declared victory with a large lead in the nearly complete vote count.
The party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said elements of the powerful military suppressed its campaign and made accusations of rigging during the counting process after Wednesday’s vote.