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PRESS STATEMENT: UNAMA welcomes start of audit for Afghan Presidential election run-off

KABUL, 17 July 2014 – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomes the start today of the audit of the results of the country’s 2014 Presidential election run-off.

The audit follows an agreement between the two Presidential candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani – facilitated by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry – on the complete audit of the 14 June run-off results. Both candidates have committed to participating in and abiding by the result of the audit.

The audit is being conducted by Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), under close and extensive international supervision led by the United Nations. The Director of the UN Secretariat’s Electoral Assistance Division, Craig Jenness, has arrived in Kabul to supervise the preparations for this unprecedented audit and its start.

The IEC is being assisted by the UN Development Programme’s Enhancing Legal And Electoral Capacity For Tomorrow II (UNDP ELECT II) experts.

The audit will be internationally supervised in a manner proposed by the UN, in consultation with both candidates. It will be conducted in accordance with best international standards, utilizing an IEC checklist supplemented by UN recommendations. Any disputes or questions not responded to in a satisfactory manner will be referred to the UN for advice, including on international best practices, or for resolution through its good offices. The UN will provide advice to the IEC Board of Commissioners throughout this process.

The audit will be conducted in the full presence of international and domestic observers, candidates’ agents, the media and UN advisors, from its beginning to its end.

The UN Mission praises the extraordinary efforts of international community in deploying the necessary number of international election observers to carry out this observation.

This comprehensive and thorough, internationally-observed audit provides the way to strengthen the credibility of the country’s electoral process and acceptance of the run-off results by both campaigns and all Afghans, with the ultimate goal of helping Afghanistan on its path to a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous future.
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