Next Afghan elections must show improvement over previous polls – UN envoy

19 April 2010

The upcoming parliamentary elections in Afghanistan must be an improvement over last year’s presidential polls, the top United Nations envoy there told the new head of the country’s national electoral body, urging that the process be as transparent as possible.

Today’s meeting follows a news conference in Kabul on Saturday, in which Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), welcomed President Hamid Karzai’s decision to adopt the agreed election guidelines for 2010.

It is hoped that these implementation guidelines will ensure more credible and transparent elections than those held last August, which were marred by fraud.

The Special Representative congratulated Fazel Ahmad Manawi on his appointment as the new Chairperson of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), and pledged the full technical and logistical support of the UN to the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled to be held on 18 September.

“Mr. de Mistura added that these elections must be an improvement on the previous elections of last year and the purpose of the agreed guidelines is to provide the IEC with the clarity that it will need in order to move forward with electoral preparations,” according to a statement issued by UNAMA.

With the appointment of Mr. Manawi and the endorsement of the implementation guidelines, the Special Representative has recommended that the international community release funds as soon as feasible to allow electoral operations to begin.

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Afghanistan: UN envoy advises release of international funds for elections

The highest United Nations official in Afghanistan today recommended the release of international assistance for parliamentary elections to be held later this year, following a meeting with President Hamid Karzai and other Afghan officials in which new senior election commission members were appointed and a question about women candidates clarified.