Islamabad, July 27: A European Union team of election observers on Friday said that Pakistan Elections 2018 were overshadowed by the “restrictions” on freedom of expression and unequal opportunity for the campaign to the candidates. “The European Union Election Observation Mission to Pakistan has concluded that positive changes to the legal framework were overshadowed by restrictions on freedom of expression and an unequal opportunity to campaign,” it said.

It further stated that voting was transparent and well conducted. Counting, however, was problematic as the staff was not following procedures. In the polling stations, security personnel were present outside as well as inside, it said. “Candidates with large political appeal and financial means, the so-called ‘electables’ were reported to often dominate the campaign Uneven rules on campaign spending further undermined candidates’ equal opportunity,” it said.

Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) party also rejected the Pakistan Election Results 2018 saying that the outcome is not the “true” mandate of the people. MMA leader Fazlur Rehman, in a press conference, announced the decision of the party. “It appears that the returning officers, presiding officer, DROs had no powers. The results were not issued and now are being provided steadily.” a Pakistani media report quoted him as saying.

The decision was taken in the All Parties Conference which was held today. Rehman had earlier said that MMA would contact other parties “to null and void the polls”. Taking a jibe at Imran Khan, he said that it isn’t easy to impose a mandate. (Related: Pakistan’s elections rigged; Imran Khan has backing of Army: Union Minister R K Singh)

Earlier in the day, locals of Bahawalpur alleged that the results given to then was not as per the Form 45 format. “EC has given us results on plain paper, there is no official stamp on the declared result. This is not how it is supposed to happen,” they said.

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Jailed former PM of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif had also alleged that the polls were “stolen” and the “tainted and dubious” results would cast a “bad impact” on the country’s politics. Expressing his concerns on the Pakistan Election, Sharif said that the position of the PML-N’s candidates in Faisalabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi were stable but they have been declared defeated.