Statement by the Secretary-General on President Karzai's declaration on the electoral process
NEW YORK - I warmly welcome the statement today by H.E. President Hamid Karzai concerning the presidential elections in Afghanistan. He has made it clear that the constitutional process must be fully respected. This process is about the future of Afghanistan and the participation of the Afghan people in their future.
I commend President Karzai for the leadership he has displayed and for his commitment to ensuring full respect for Afghanistan's Constitution and its democratic processes.
I also commend Dr. Abdullah Abdullah for his dignified approach to the campaign as well as to the difficult post-election period.
These elections were held under extremely difficult, even dangerous circumstances. The courage and patience demonstrated by the Afghan people and their leaders must be recognized and applauded. They have voted in the face of intimidation and insecurity.
This is the first time that Afghan institutions have conducted a Presidential election. These institutions – the Independent Election Commission and the Electoral Complaints Commission – have worked closely to ensure strict adherence to the Constitution and the Electoral Law of Afghanistan. The United Nations has supported the work of these institutions in their efforts to ensure that all valid votes cast in the elections of 20 August 2009 were taken into account and that the voice of the Afghan people was clearly heard.
The United Nations will do its utmost for the conduct of the second round of elections scheduled for 7 November 2009 in a free, fair, transparent and secure environment.
I wish, finally, to thank my Special Representative, Mr. Kai Eide, and the staff of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for their tireless work in support of the legitimate Afghan institutions and in keeping the electoral process on track.