KABUL, 27 August 2013 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, today met the Chairman of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC), Dr. Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, to discuss preparations for the 2014 Presidential and Provincial Council elections
Special Representative Kubiš was encouraged by continued progress which means that, around seven months prior to the 5 April 2014 polls, preparations are further advanced than previous Afghan elections. Recent steps by Afghan authorities include the approval of a legal framework, the appointment of election commissioners under a new consultative process, and initial assessments by security institutions.
These are all key elements of a robust electoral architecture and environment for the conduct of credible polls. Security will be central to ensuring inclusive elections and is one area requiring increased attention.
Mr. Kubiš also welcomed the IEC’s endorsement of the United Nations’ electoral support project, ELECT II (Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow, second phase). This is important in ensuring the continuity of electoral preparations including mobilization of necessary international donor assistance.
The creation of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) is the next step with the presidential decree of 20 August 2013 directing its rapid establishment. The lack of a civil society representative during the selection process for the IEC – as stipulated by law - was disappointing. There is a chance to remedy this in the selection of the IECC. The UN Special Representative encourages an inclusive process resulting in the appointment of qualified and widely respected complaints’ commissioners.
Afghan-led and Afghan-managed 2014 Presidential and Provincial Council elections are at the very heart of a credible, inclusive, transparent, and sustainable political transition. A smooth and widely accepted transfer of political authority is critical for future stability. UNAMA calls on all parties to constructively engage in efforts to ensure that the elections are held according to the Constitution and the IEC’s timeline.
UNAMA reaffirms its commitment to support the elections at the request of the Afghan authorities and institutions as mandated by the UN Security Council.
Notes to Editor:
The objective of the UNDP ELECT II project is to support national electoral institutions to prepare and conduct credible elections in 2014 (Presidential and Provincial Council) and 2015 (Parliamentary) and to better ensure the inclusiveness and integrity of the process. The project’s principal outputs include technical assistance and operational support to the IEC in the areas of: institutional development; voter registration and election operations; and stakeholder engagement. UNDP ELECT II also provides support to the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission and the Media Commission.
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