Pakistan issues tough guidelines for election observers, media

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INTERNATIONAL Observers and Media, planning to monitor Pakistani elections in July, would face tough guidelines, officials said on Wednesday.

The rules were issued amid reports the military might wants to scuttle attempts by the party of former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, to seek another parliamentary majority.

A government body overseeing the elections said it would cancel visas for international observers and journalists if they run afoul of the rules.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) advised observers not to travel without seeking permission from the country’s powerful security agencies, which would put limits on the international community’s ability to oversee the elections.

The observers have been asked to share their research methodology with the election authorities before announcing the outcomes of their assessments.

Elections are scheduled for July 25, amid tensions between the military, which has ruled the country for almost half of its history and Sharif, whose party is seeking another term.

Political commentators believe the military might not want to see the victory for Sharif, who remains the country’s most popular political leader, despite his removal by the Supreme Court in 2017 on corruption allegations.

Pakistan has struggled politically and its political history is marred by frequent coups, assassinations and the unceremonious ouster of leaders either by the military or an assertive judiciary

– June 27, 2018 @ 13: 35 GMT |

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