Top UN envoy urges calm as Afghanistan awaits election results

24 August 2009

The top United Nations envoy for Afghanistan today urged patience and calm as the country’s Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) responds to the complaints that have been received following last week’s historic presidential and provincial council polls.

“I say to candidates, campaigners, voters, and media, that you must respect this process. This is a critical part of it. Respect also means demonstrating patience,” Kai Eide said during a visit to the Commission’s headquarters in Kabul.

Mr. Eide, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), met with some of the commissioners and saw how the ECC deals with the complaints filed by candidates and voters.

The Commission said it has so far received 790 complaints from across the country following the 20 August polls, including 54 classified as “Priority-A,” which, if proved, could have an impact on the result.

Mr. Eide said he was concerned about every irregularity, but emphasized that the ECC would do all it can to address and correct them.

Forty-one presidential candidates, including two women, as well as over 3,000 candidates competing for provincial council seats, took part in last week’s polls, the first to be organized by the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC).

The elections were hailed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council, both of whom congratulated the Afghan people for exercising their right to vote.

 

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