25 transgenders to be among poll observers in Pakistan

As election observers, they will observe and note down any violation of rights or acts of discrimination against vulnerable sections of society at polling stations during the polls.

world Updated: Jul 06, 2018 08:41 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pakistan elections,transgender,Pakistan
Supporters of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), listen to his speech during a campaign rally ahead of general elections in District Thatta, Pakistan on July 2.(REUTERS)

A total of 75 people - 25 from the transgender community, and an equal number of disabled people and women - have been appointed as observers for Pakistan’s July 25 general election a private network of organisations working to monitor the polls.

They were appointed by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) at a training programme organised in collaboration with the Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA) in an attempt to make the electoral process more inclusive and participatory for vulnerable sections of society.

The move is also aimed at promoting human rights and active electoral participation of vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, transgender people and women.

As election observers, they will observe and note down any violation of rights or acts of discrimination against vulnerable sections of society at polling stations during the polls. Any direct violations will be conveyed to presiding officers, while survey forms will be filled by the observers to report instances of political and electoral violence. These forms will later be submitted to the Election Commission.

Zahid Abdullah, project manager, said FAFEN has nearly 19,000 members who will monitor the elections. “Out of these 19,000 members, we have trained around 125 persons selected from across Pakistan to monitor and enhance the capacity of citizens belonging to vulnerable groups,” he said.

First Published: Jul 06, 2018 08:39 IST