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U.S. observers laud success in conduct of elections in Pakistan
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08:28, February 21, 2008

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Pakistan has achieved significant level of success in the conduct of the general elections as compared to international standards, head of a U.S. observers mission said here Wednesday.

Jim Moody, leader of the mission from Democracy International, told a news conference that the elections provided a genuine opportunity for Pakistani voters to express their will despite widespread expectations of violence and fears of systematic manipulation.

Unveiling a preliminary report on conduct of Elections 2008, he said the balloting and counting process on the election day were largely conducted in accordance with the established procedures, the official Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The U.S.-based Democracy International fielded a 38-person election observation mission to monitor the elections that included experts in election administration, election monitoring and politics.

"The Election Day was executed smoothly as compared to previous general elections due to ambitious efforts made by the administration," he said, adding that despite the relative success of the Election Day, the observers noted some systematic problems including low participation of women voters.

Moody said new translucent ballot boxes provided confidence that boxes were empty at the beginning of the balloting, and new cardboard voting screens improved voters' confidentiality.

Source: Xinhua

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