US concerned about reports of intimidation, voter suppression in Pakistan election, White House says

By Thomson Reuters Feb 15, 2024 | 2:28 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is concerned about reports of intimidation and voter suppression in Pakistan’s election, the White House said on Thursday after reports of protests in some parts of the country.

Pakistan’s election last week did not return a clear majority for anyone but independent candidates backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan won 92 out of 264 seats, making them the largest group.

Questions have been raised about the fairness of the Feb. 8 election both inside Pakistan as well as in major foreign capitals, with Washington having previously said there were “undue restrictions” on freedoms of expressions and assembly.

“We are watching this very, very closely,” White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Thursday, expressing concern about “intimidation and voter suppression.”

“International monitors are still taking a look at those tallies, I’m not going to get ahead of that process,” he added about the vote count.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Chris Reese and Doina Chiacu)