Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged all eligible Afghan men and women to cast their ballots in tomorrow’s presidential and provincial elections, saying their votes will play a crucial role in helping the country on the path towards greater stability and democracy.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said that by participating in the elections, “the Afghan people will help Afghanistan strengthen its democratic institutions, bring fresh vigour to the country’s political life, and ultimately reaffirm their commitment to contribute to the peace and prosperity of their nation.”
He also called on all election candidates, their supporters, political party agents and both domestic and international observers “to continue to cooperate with the Independent Election Commission, other relevant Afghan institutions and international stakeholders supporting electoral preparations, to ensure a smooth and successful electoral process.”
Afghanistan has been beset by violence during the election campaign, including two suicide bomb attacks since the weekend in the capital, Kabul. In the latest attack, which occurred yesterday, two United Nations staff members were among those killed.
Earlier this month a report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) found that the prevailing insecurity was affecting preparations for the elections, especially for women.
Tomorrow’s elections will feature an estimated 40 presidential candidates and another 3,195 candidates for the provincial council.