Amid concerns of fraud, UN envoy calls for ensuring integrity of Afghan polls
8 September 2009 - The top United Nations envoy to Afghanistan today called on national election authorities to ensure the integrity of last month’s presidential and provincial council elections, in light of concerns that have arisen over irregularities in voting.
The votes are still being counted from the 20 August polls, which were organized by the Independent Election Commission (IEC). Once the tallying is completed, the process will move on to the adjudication of complaints by the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC).
“All of us are keen to see the processes move forward without delay so that a final and just outcome is arrived at,” Kai Eide, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan said in a statement issued in Kabul.
“I am calling today on the IEC and the ECC to redouble their efforts to ensure full rigour in their work at every stage. This includes excluding from the preliminary count results from ballot boxes where there is evidence of irregularities,” he added.
Mr. Eide, who heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), stressed that the integrity of the elections is of the “utmost importance” to Afghanistan and to its international partners.
“I look to both the IEC and ECC to carry out their mandated work to high standards and to ensure that the final outcome faithfully reflects the will of Afghanistan’s voters,” he stated.
Forty-one presidential candidates, including two women, as well as over 3,000 candidates competing for provincial council seats, took part in the elections. The largely peaceful polls were hailed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council, both of whom congratulated the Afghan people for exercising their right to vote.