US to sponsor election observation prog in Pak

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Islamabad, Oct 11 (UNI) With a view to supporting Pakistan General elections, the United States will sponsor election observation programmes in the south Asian country, US Ambassador announced today.

''The assistance from the United States is part of the international community's desire to assist Pakistan in holding free, fair and transparent elections in the country,'' US Ambassador Anne W Paterson said.

The US has signed agreements with the International Republican Institute (IRI) and The Asia Foundation to conduct activities before, during, and after the election.

IRI will deploy 12 long-term and 40 short-term international observers in Pakistan's four provinces to conduct a pre-election assessment followed by election-day observation.

The US will also contribute in The Asia Foundation's multi-donor efforts to place independent domestic observers at polling places nationwide.

A coalition of 30 Pakistani civil society organisations will conduct nationwide monitoring of the pre-election environment, election day procedures, and post-election announcement of results and resolution of election disputes.

The US Government's election support also includes training of political party officials, voter education, training of polling staff, and the purchase of transparent ballot boxes.

UNI

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