UNAMA notes national preparations for securing elections
KABUL - With Afghanistan's Parliamentary elections little more than a week away, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) notes that, despite significant security challenges, progress has been made by the country's security forces in creating conditions for the majority of citizens to exercise their right to vote.
"Afghanistan’s security forces are fully responsible for providing security for the elections process," said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Adequate security is required to give the opportunity to as many eligible voters as possible to exercise their constitutional rights.”
Yamamoto, who is also head of UNAMA, emphasized that Afghans should not be obstructed, intimidated or denied their right to choose their representatives and shape their country's future. “Any violence or intimidation directed at voters, candidates or electoral officials is totally unacceptable, and I unequivocally condemn it,” the UN envoy stressed, noting recent attacks across the country against candidates, their teams and potential voters.
The Ministry of Interior has for several months led the coordination of a national security planning process for the elections. It has done so with the Ministry of Defence and the National Directorate of Security with the support of Resolute Support and in consultation with the Independent Election Commission (IEC). UNAMA welcomes the allocation of additional resources for female security personnel to enhance women’s participation.
The joint security planning directive on elections was signed in 2017 by the three main national security organs, as well as the IEC and the Independent Directorate of Local Governance. This commitment was followed by extensive security assessments of the polling centres by Afghan security agencies.
The 20 October elections are the first in the modern era that will be fully handled by Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.
While fulfilling their critical role in providing security to the process, UNAMA notes that the Afghan security forces also have a responsibility to remain politically impartial in discharging their duties.