Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Pakistan election commission calls meeting to assess impact of violence on coming poll

Pakistan election commission calls meeting to assess impact of violence on coming poll

Pakistan's election commission said Saturday it would hold an emergency meeting in the coming days to assess the impact of the violence raging across the country on a parliamentary election planned for Jan. 8.
The violence, which followed the killing Thursday of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, led to the destruction of nine election offices, including the voter rolls inside, and adversely affected the printing of ballot papers, training of poll workers and other pre-election logistics, the commission said in a statement faxed to reporters.
The election is seen as a crucial step in restoring stability and bring democracy back to this nuclear-armed nation.
In the statement issued by spokesman Azmatulla Shaikh, the election commission did not say whether it would consider recommending a postponement of the poll at its emergency meeting called for Monday.
Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro said Friday the government had no immediate plans to postpone the election, despite the raging violence and the decision by Nawaz Sharif, another opposition leader, to boycott the poll.
The U.S. government, which sees Pakistan as a crucial ally in the war on terror, believes keeping the election on track was the biggest immediate concern in sustaining its policy of promoting stability, moderation and democracy in Pakistan, U.S. officials said.
The statement said offices of assistant election commissioners in nine districts in Bhutto's southern Sindh province were "set on fire and the buildings along with the record, electoral rolls, transparent ballot boxes and voting screens were reduced to ashes."
Pre-poll preparations were also adversely affected by the violence, it said.
Ongoing lawlessness in the troubled border areas near Afghanistan, which led to the recent death of a candidate in a bomb blast, were also affecting efforts to carry out the poll, it said.


Updated : 2021-07-30 09:31 GMT+08:00