Afghan elections top the agenda of talks between Foreign Minister and UN chief

22 September 2010

Last weekend’s Afghan parliamentary elections were the focus of talks today between the country’s Foreign Minister and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Zalmai Rassoul and Mr. Ban discussed the implementation of the Afghan Government’s post-election priorities, such as the transition to Afghan leadership, regional cooperation and reconciliation, according to information released by a spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

At least 2,500 candidates competed last Saturday for 249 seats in the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of Afghanistan's parliament, including almost 400 women candidates. Provisional results are likely to be announced around 8 October, but final results are not expected until the end of the month.

Mr. Ban and his envoy to Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, praised Afghans for turning out to cast their ballots despite the country’s enormous security problems and logistical challenges.

Today Mr. Ban and Mr. Rassoul also discussed Afghanistan’s long-term partnerships with its international partners, and the Secretary-General stressed the commitment of the United Nations to helping Afghanistan build political and economic stability.

 

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Afghanistan’s electoral bodies must be allowed to complete their duties – UN envoy

The United Nations envoy to Afghanistan today commended the country’s electoral authorities on conducting the recent parliamentary polls amid immense security and logistical challenges, and stressed that they must be given the space to complete their responsibilities.