In participating in the general elections on 25 July 2018, despite the deadly attacks in the run up to and on election day, the people of Pakistan have demonstrated determination and a clear commitment to democracy.
These are the 4th elections in a row in Pakistan that the European Union has observed. The preliminary findings of the EU Election Observation Mission highlight that election day was largely orderly and competitive. However, the electoral process was overshadowed by allegations of interference, restrictions on freedom of speech and the media, and unequal opportunities to campaign. It will be essential that any appeal proceedings be conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
Efforts have been made to encourage greater women's participation in the electoral process but, despite the new legal framework, a full level playing field for women, as well as for minorities and vulnerable groups, is yet to be realised.
Bureaucratic delays on the part of the Pakistani authorities limited the ability of the Election Observation Mission's long-term observers to fully assess all aspects of the process.
The European Union looks forward to continuing its engagement with Pakistan on promoting democracy, good governance and human rights and strengthening the partnership for peace, development and prosperity.