The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomed today's appointment of the members of the new Independent Election Commission (IEC) and looked forward to working with the new commissioners as the country prepares for crucial elections in 2014.
In a press statement, UNAMA welcomed the “timely” appointment of the new members of the electoral body, including the “expeditious” election of its Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and Secretary.
“UNAMA congratulates the new commissioners and looks forward to working with them in support of their duty of preparing next year's polls,” said the statement, noting that the new appointments follow the recent Parliamentary and Presidential approvals of the Electoral Law and law regulating the structure and responsibilities of Afghanistan's electoral management bodies.
“In relation to the latter, the UN Mission notes that the establishment of the electoral dispute resolution mechanism is equally crucial for ensuring transparent, credible and inclusive elections,” UNAMA stressed.
“An inclusive appointments process is an important development in the establishment of a credible and robust electoral architecture for Afghanistan's Presidential and Provincial Council elections, due to take place on 5 April 2014.”
To that end, UNAMA pointed out in its statement that the selection process benefits from the participation of a civil society representative as provided for in the law, and said that it expects, in regard to the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission, that this requirement will be met.
The statement stressed that Afghan-led and Afghan-managed 2014 Presidential and Provincial Council elections are central to Afghanistan's stable and sustainable political transition.
“UNAMA calls on all concerned to engage constructively in efforts to ensure that the elections are held according to the Afghan Constitution and the IEC's timeline,” said the statement, adding that the UN Mission reiterates that meeting the timelines “is not only possible, but essential.”
Finally, UNAMA reaffirmed its commitment to support the elections at the request of the Afghan authorities and institutions as mandated by the UN Security Council.