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Norway congratulates Pakistan on historic election

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2013

“I would like to congratulate Pakistan on a historic election. For the first time in the country’s history, a democratically elected government will be replaced by another democratically elected government,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.
“Pakistan’s democracy is developing. Although the final assessments of the election may identify mistakes and shortcomings, the election has shown that the democratic will is there. Important steps have been made, such as amendments to electoral legislation, the establishment of an independent election commission and improved electoral lists,” Mr Eide said.
There were more female candidates and registered voters than in the last parliamentary election. Having said this, in some areas women were still prevented from voting. Norway has provided support for increasing women’s participation in the election and for the election commission’s work.
Pakistani women and men have defied threats of violence in order to cast their vote. They have every reason to be proud of this,” Mr Eide said.
Anti-democracy extremists have used terror tactics during parts of the election process and have killed several hundred political activists in the lead-up to the election. There are no official figures for voter turnout, but preliminary figures indicate a higher turnout than in the 2008 election. 
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