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NEWS UPDATE

PRESS STATEMENT: UNAMA congratulates Afghans on second round of voting

KABUL, 14 June 2014 – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) congratulates the men and women of Afghanistan on the holding today of the second round of the Presidential elections – a major achievement in the country’s historic democratic transition from one elected President to another.

“With the same determination, resilience and courage the world saw in the first round of elections, the people of Afghanistan today once again decided to take their destiny in their own hands and demonstrate their desire for a peaceful, prosperous, and united Afghanistan,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš. “For this, they should be congratulated.”

Mr. Kubiš praised the competence and dedication of the Afghan National Security Forces in enabling voting to take place without any major disruption, even at the cost sometimes of their own lives.

UNAMA welcomes the steps taken by the election management bodies – the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) – to improve the electoral process in response to requests and recommendations from candidates and observers.

“The IEC and IECC now have a critical responsibility to tally the votes in a transparent and accountable manner, resolve complaints consistently and efficiently, and to transparently release the results,” Mr. Kubiš said. “This vital work should be done with the utmost integrity and impartiality to protect the vote and to deal with complaints in a way that will satisfy the Afghan people.”

Both candidates and their supporters, the UN Special Representative continued, need to respect the mandate and independence of the IEC and the IECC. For their part, the electoral institutions must provide access for candidate agents and observers to all stages electoral process.

“Candidates and their supporters will need to obey and follow Afghan laws and exercise restraint and patience, allow due process to take its course and respect the work of the Commissions, and accept the final results,” Mr. Kubiš said. “They should avoid making accusations of fraud and mismanagement that are not based on firm evidence, and they should refrain from premature claims in advance of the official results which could lead to misunderstandings and tensions.”

The UN Special Representative urged the candidates to make national unity and inclusivity their top priorities to serve the interests of the Afghan people.
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