UNAMA welcomes second National Election Forum
KABUL - The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomes the holding of the Second National Election Forum and the commitment of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission to continuing sustained consultations with electoral stakeholders that are crucial to credible, transparent and inclusive elections.
Speaking at the forum, Pernille Kardel, the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, said, "The success of this forum relies upon the commission's honest and timely presentation of the issues at stake. It also depends on your honest and constructive engagement. These issues are at the core of the Afghan democratic process, and the stability of the country. I urge you all to use this forum to contribute to a realistic, successful way forward when challenges arise."
UNAMA is encouraged that despite challenges, key decisions on how to proceed with elections are being taken so transparent parliamentary elections can be held in 2018. UNAMA encourages Afghanistan's political leaders and civil society to unite their efforts to prepare and support credible elections in 2018.
On behalf of the international community, Kardel expressed support for the IEC's decision to consider adopting paper-based voter registration, stressing that the important issue was to create polling centre-based voter registration. The international community supports continued efforts by Afghanistan to explore the use of biometric voter registration (BVR) for the presidential election of 2019, potentially through a partial BVR pilot for the parliamentary elections in 2018.
Kardel reiterated the international community's support as a partner throughout the electoral preparation process.
UNAMA remains committed to working with Afghan institutions as they implement reforms to enhance transparency and build trust in Afghanistan's democratic processes, in 2018 and beyond.