UN envoy welcomes August election, says national consensus, transparency needed
KABUL - I welcome today’s statement by the Independent Election Commission reaffirming 20 August as the date of Afghanistan’s 2009 presidential and provincial council elections.
This date will provide the time needed for the IEC with the support of the international community to make practical and logistical preparations, for candidates to campaign, and for Afghan and international forces to provide security.
The holding of elections is of paramount importance for consolidating democracy in Afghanistan. It is a matter of national interest. Therefore, I emphasize the need for broad consensus so that the election process can move forward in a way that ensures the political stability of the country and the legitimacy of its institutions.
Furthermore, I cannot overstate the importance of the elections being transparent and credible. Afghanistan’s authorities and the international community have a shared responsibility for ensuring the transparency and integrity of the elections. The UN will be doing its utmost to contribute to this effort.
I call on Afghanistan’s political leaders to continue their efforts to achieve consensus for these elections to take place in a credible and organized way. The UN will also work to ensure that all efforts are made so that these elections are transparent, fair and truly reflect the will of the Afghan people.