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UN welcomes deal paving way for certification of Afghan poll results

UN welcomes deal paving way for certification of Afghan poll results

A woman casts her vote in the presidential and provincial council elections in Balkh province
Welcoming today's announcement on an agreement to resolve issues before certifying the presidential elections results in Afghanistan, the top United Nations envoy to the country stressed that the South Asian nation's people must be informed of the poll's outcome as soon as possible.

Kai Eide, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, said in a statement today that cooperation between the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) is “essential for achieving a credible outcome” to the 20 August polls.

“The Afghan people need to know the outcome of this election without undue delay, including the decision on whether a run-off vote is required,” he said, calling on the two bodies to expedite their work while also respecting international standards and the need for transparency.

“The final result of this election must reflect the will of the Afghan people,” Mr. Eide, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said.

Last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed a proposal to hold a UN-led international conference on Afghanistan, as he expressed concern about the country's ongoing instability and insecurity despite large-scale assistance since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

He told reporters that whoever is the next Afghan president following last month's elections, which will have to be seen to be “credible and transparent,” must demonstrate “strong leadership through good governance.”

Earlier this month, Mr. Eide called on national election authorities to ensure the integrity of August's presidential and provincial council elections, in light of concerns that have arisen over irregularities in voting.

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 largely peaceful polls were hailed by the Secretary-General and the UN Security Council, both of whom congratulated the Afghan people for exercising their right to vote.