UN envoy calls on candidates to campaign with dignity and fairness
15 June 2009 - “I appeal to candidates to campaign with dignity and fairness. It is the shared responsibility of all candidates to ensure that these elections strengthen Afghanistan’s democratic institutions and people’s confidence in the democratic process.”
The top UN envoy in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, made this appeal on the eve of the 16 June start of campaigning for Afghanistan’s Presidential and Provincial Council elections.
He stressed that “intimidation, inflammatory language and violence of any sort have no place in this election campaign. All candidates must conduct their campaign in a way which respects the rights of other candidates to campaign freely and without interference. This is of critical importance to ensure that the elections are credible and that the results are accepted by all.”
Mr. Eide emphasized the need to respect scrupulously the Presidential decree on non-interference of government institutions and officials and that no such interference can be accepted in favour of any candidate at the Presidential or Provincial Council level. He urged full respect for the impartiality of election officials.
“I look forward to an election campaign where each candidate presents a vision for Afghanistan’s future. More than ever, the Afghan people need a debate focused on the key political challenges facing the country and how to take Afghanistan forward. The Afghan people should be able to choose between political alternatives and not only between different individuals. They must be able to see clearly what the candidates stand for and not only who they are. I therefore hope we will now see two months of vigorous and dignified political debate,” Eide said.
Mr. Eide acknowledged that “many Afghans are disappointed by inadequate progress in recent years. This is almost inevitable in a country in conflict and with weak institutions. The Afghan people continue to suffer from conflict, hardship and poverty. However, the strength and legitimacy of a future government and provincial authorities depends on the active participation of the people in these elections. The coming years will be decisive for the stability and prosperity of Afghanistan. I therefore appeal to all voters to follow the election campaign closely and to cast their votes on Election Day.”
Mr. Eide noted that these elections will be administered by Afghan authorities. “The UN and the international community at large will follow the election process closely and give its full support to an election process that is fair and credible,” he said.