Top UN envoy urges peaceful resolution of Afghan legislative crisis

28 June 2011

The United Nations envoy to Afghanistan today called on all parties to conduct themselves responsibly, using only political means and careful to avoid public unrest, after a special court ruled recently to replace a quarter of the members of Parliament due to fraud charges.

The United Nations envoy to Afghanistan today called on all parties to conduct themselves responsibly, using only political means and careful to avoid public unrest, after a special court ruled recently to replace a quarter of the members of Parliament due to fraud charges.

“In this critical moment for Afghanistan’s democratic governance, it is essential that Afghans themselves reach a political solution to this institutional impasse underpinned by the Constitution and democratic principles and move forward,” stated Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Last week a special court set up by a decree of President Hamid Karzai ordered that 62 lawmakers elected in the September 2010 election vacate their seats in the 249-seat Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of Afghanistan’s Parliament. The ruling has reportedly been condemned as unconstitutional and illegal by Afghan officials and international observers.

Mr. de Mistura met today, at their request, with several representatives of the Wolesi Jirga candidates backed by the court set up to examine electoral complaints.

“They presented what they felt were clear cases of fraud in the September 2010 polls and emphasized the importance of adhering to the rule of law,” said a press statement issued by UNAMA.

Referring to the finality of results certified by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Mr. de Mistura explained that the UN supports elections as part of the democratic process in Afghanistan and is not involved in addressing individual cases.

As such UNAMA supports Afghanistan’s constitutionally mandated institutions, which includes the electoral bodies and their constitutional authority on electoral matters.

 

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