White House Urges Pakistan to Ensure Transparent Election Process and Respect People's Will

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 14-02-2024 07:08 IST | Created: 14-02-2024 07:08 IST
White House Urges Pakistan to Ensure Transparent Election Process and Respect People's Will
  • Country:
  • United States

The White House has called for ensuring a transparent election process in Pakistan and said there is a need to respect the will of the Pakistani people.

US President Joe Biden is aware of the elections in Pakistan, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference on Tuesday.

''Obviously, the president is very much aware. Millions of Pakistanis turned out to vote last week, including record numbers of women, members of religious and ethnic minority groups, and young voters,'' Jean-Pierre said. ''So certainly, we congratulate the Pakistani people for participating in last week's elections, including poll workers, civil society members, and journalists and election observers who have protected Pakistan's democratic and electoral institutions,'' she added. The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced that Independent candidates, a majority of them supported by the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), secured 101 seats in the National Assembly. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) bagged 75 seats, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) got 54, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) secured 17.

To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly.

In response to a question, Jean-Pierre said, ''We are proud to stand with like-minded democracies. As we consistently convey clearly both publicly and privately to the Pakistani government and across the Pakistani political spectrum, the need to respect the will of the Pakistani people and ensure a transparent election process is critical and it is obviously important.'' Senator Chris Murphy -- chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism -- said in a statement that the people of Pakistan made their voices heard last week and added it is critical that the results reflect the will of the voters.

''I am concerned by reports of irregularities and alleged interference, including attacks on free press and restrictions to Internet access, and I support the Biden administration's call for those claims to be thoroughly investigated,'' Murphy said.

The Pentagon's Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said the Department of Defense is monitoring the situation in Pakistan.

Congresswoman Madeleine Dean said, ''I'm encouraged by every single voter in Pakistan -- you made your voices heard. Even amidst widespread vote tampering, which must be investigated.'' ''As democracies are threatened -- our own and those around the world -- upholding the will of the people is more important than ever,'' she added.

The PML-N on Tuesday nominated Shehbaz Sharif as its prime ministerial candidate instead of three-time former premier Nawaz Sharif.

The development came a few hours after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari withdrew from the prime ministerial race, saying his party would support ex-premier Nawaz Sharif without being part of the new government. The election process in Pakistan has been marred by allegations of horse-trading in the absence of a clear majority.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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