US Wants Pakistan’s Legal System to Address Election Irregularities

The United States has asked Pakistan to conduct an independent and transparent investigation into the claims of election fraud and rigging that have marred the February 8 general elections in the country.

The State Department Spokesperson, Matthew Miller, said on Monday that the US respects the democratic process and the will of the Pakistani people, who exercised their choice in a competitive election. He said the US is ready to work with the new government once it is formed.

However, he also expressed concerns over some irregularities and interference that were reported during the election process. He said the US has conveyed the need for the Pakistani government to respect the rule of law, the Constitution, the free press, and the vibrant civil society.

He condemned the political and election-related violence and the restrictions on internet and cell phone service that negatively impacted the electoral environment. He said the US wants to see these issues fully investigated by Pakistan’s legal system, which he said is the appropriate first step to take.

He said the US will continue to monitor the situation in the days ahead and will look into any additional steps that may be needed. He said he was not aware of any specific body that could conduct an independent investigation, as some US lawmakers have suggested.

The February 8 general elections were held amid controversy and delay, as several political parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) have alleged widespread fraud and rigging.

The PTI-backed independent candidates emerged as the largest bloc in the National Assembly, followed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). However, no party was able to secure a simple majority and form a government.

The PPP, the PML-N and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) have started negotiations to form a coalition government, while the PTI and its allies have challenged the election results and demanded a re-election.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced the provisional results of the elections, but has not issued the final notification of the winners. The ECP has said it will address the complaints and petitions filed by the candidates and parties before declaring the final results.

The ECP has also faced criticism for its handling of the elections, as it failed to ensure timely transmission and compilation of the results. The ECP has blamed technical glitches and human errors for the delay and has vowed to improve its performance in the future.

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