The United Nations today welcomed the completion of the third phase of Afghanistan’s voter registration exercise which has resulted in the addition of an additional three million voters set to take part in next year’s presidential and provincial council elections.
More than a third of the 3,007,668 people who registered during the three phases of the exercise are women, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) noted in a statement.
“Afghan-led and Afghan-managed elections are at the very heart of the country’s political transition, and UNAMA reiterates the importance of public participation in order to ensure transparent, credible and inclusive elections,” said the Mission.
The ongoing exercise supplements previous registration exercises by issuing voter cards to those who are newly eligible, have moved location or returned to Afghanistan, and who have lost their cards – ensuring an inclusive franchise for the 2014 polls, it added.
The third phase was conducted at the district level and was completed on 11 November. Registration is expected to continue at the provincial level until shortly before 5 April 2014, the date set for the polls.
UNAMA reaffirmed its commitment to support the elections, which senior UN officials have stressed must be free and fair, and enjoy wide participation.