EU offers observers for historic election

BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday offered to send observers to elections in May in a bid to ensure a “peaceful, credible” vote that will be “acceptable” to all.

The vote for the first time would enable the transition of power from one elected government to another, marking the first time a democratically elected government would have seen out a full term in the country.

“The EU looks forward to upcoming elections that are peaceful, credible, transparent, inclusive and acceptable to the Pakistani people,” EU foreign ministers said in a statement released after talks.

The 27-nation bloc “is ready to assist by deploying an election observation mission, as a tangible sign of our support for the democratic process,” the statement added.

The ministers also said they looked forward to re-energising ties with the next government and hoped quick contacts could lead to a third Pakistan-EU summit.

They recalled that the EU had given Pakistan better market access to help it overcome economic problems linked to natural disasters, and welcomed Pakistan’s “constructive role in promoting a secure Afghanistan and supporting an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process.”