Islamabad: Civil society organisations have come together to monitor all aspects of the electoral processes and work for free and fair elections and formed a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), which was formally launched on Tuesday in Islamabad. The monitoring work of FAFEN would focus on the actual conduct of the elections and the various stages and processes before and after the elections.
In the past, election results have rarely been accepted as free and fair, which seriously undermined the process of democratic development. People have lost confidence in participating in the country’s governance through the power of their vote. This confidence needed to be restored and so the civil society organisations realised their responsibility to come forward and play their role. As a network, FAFEN is committed to work in an impartial and a non-partisan manner.
FAFEN Secretary General Sarwar Bari said that in order to seek feedback for ensuring free and fair elections, FAFEN would soon hold consultations with political parties and the elections authorities to evolve its strategy for the monitoring of elections. Political parties were the main stakeholders in elections and thus FAFEN would value their views and feedback in the process of developing and implementing its monitoring initiatives, he said.
Unlike previous elections observations, FAFEN will adopt a holistic and proactive approach in the process of monitoring the behaviour and activities of the government, the election authorities, the media and the political parties. In line with international best practices, FAFEN will identify the related problems and gaps and inform the public. FAFEN will undertake appropriate advocacy initiatives to persuade the election authorities, the government and the political parties for electoral and democratic reforms.
FAFEN consists of a general body and an elected executive council of seven members, which includes one member from each province, two general members and a secretary general. EC members include Sarwar Bari (Pattan), Mukhtar Ahmad Ali (CPDI-Pakistan), Sadiqa Salahuddin (IRC), Nasrullah Khan (CPD), Mukhtar Javed (Sungi), Muhammad Zahid Islam (Sangat) and Mussarat Qadeem (Paiman). FAFEN’s aim is to promote democratic polity and strive for participation of the citizenry in electoral, political and governance processes and structures through awareness, mobilisation, empowerment, research and advocacy.
Source: Daily Times