Building trust in Afghan elections the goal of new reform commission

23 Jul 2015

Building trust in Afghan elections the goal of new reform commission

KABUL - Eliminating fraud and building trust in Afghan elections are the objectives of a newly established electoral reform body, said one of its members at a Kabul press conference today.

The Special Electoral Reform Commission’s Deputy Chair, Siddiqullah Tawhidi, told reporters that the Commission’s working groups are now reviewing and assessing electoral laws, regulations, policies and procedures, and evaluating the structures, roles and responsibilities of the country's electoral bodies.

Mr. Tawhidi said that the Commission’s work, which he noted would be performed in consultation with political leaders, civil society organizations and the international community, is expected to build trust and confidence among Afghans by helping prevent fraud in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Earlier this week, UNAMA welcomed the establishment of the Commission by the National Unity Government as an “important step” in the electoral reform process.

“We look forward to a credible, inclusive and transparent electoral reform process,” said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, in a statement. “UNAMA encourages the Afghan authorities to make the necessary decisions on the electoral calendar for the next parliamentary and other polls.”

The United Nations is not a voting member of the Commission. Its role is to provide advice and technical expertise on the basis of international best practices, while respecting the sovereign right of Afghanistan to make the final decisions on electoral reform.

The UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, is the UN focal point for electoral support to Afghanistan and will coordinate international assistance to the Commission.