As Afghanistan and its international partners continue to await the final results of last month’s elections, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed the importance of ensuring that the outcome reflects the will of the people.
Mr. Ban and his top envoy in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, have in recent weeks called on national election authorities to ensure the integrity of the 20 August presidential and provincial council elections, in light of concerns that have arisen over irregularities in voting.
“The level of alleged electoral irregularities has generated significant political turbulence leading to fears of a return to violence when election results are announced,” Mr. Ban wrote in his latest report on the situation in Afghanistan.
He said that serious electoral fraud occurred, made possible primarily, but not exclusively, by the lack of access to parts of the country owing to the ongoing conflict.
Following a decision by the Electoral Complaints Commission to review results from a number of polling stations, a credible audit and recount process is now coming to its conclusion, he said.
“When the entire electoral process is completed, it will be of critical importance for the results to be accepted by all so that the election of Afghanistan’s future president can be certified and a new Government can be formed,” stated Mr. Ban.
Forty-one presidential candidates, including two women, as well as over 3,000 candidates competing for provincial council seats, took part in the elections – the first to be organized by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and described by Mr. Ban as having been “among the most demanding ever to be organized.”
The Secretary-General also stated that it is “imperative” that the international community maintain a long-term commitment to Afghanistan, while adding that there must be a “decisive shift” in that relationship.
“The Government must be enabled and determined to assume all the responsibilities that belong to a sovereign State,” he said. “The international community, for its part, must play a role that is clearly one of support.
“A new contract between the Government of Afghanistan and its people will be a critical component in this shift of responsibilities,” he added.
Strategic Communication and Spokespersons Unit
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)