The top United Nations official in Afghanistan is urging all presidential candidates and their supporters to display respect for the electoral process and the national electoral institutions after today's release of the full preliminary results from the 5 April poll.
“The Afghan electoral institutions should be commended for their work to make the process more transparent than ever before," Special Representative for Afghanistan Ján Kubiš said in a statement.
Mr. Kubiš, who heads the UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA), said the electoral institutions should also be commended for their efforts “to protect the integrity of the election process and the votes of the people” while “doing their utmost to work in accordance with the electoral timetable”.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced today's preliminary result, which will not be finalized until the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) investigates fraud complaints. The IEC will then announce the final results, likely in mid-May.
The UN senior official commended the IEC for its “serious effort to separate clean from fraudulent votes” before releasing the preliminary results.
As they stand now, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah is in the lead with around 45 per cent of vote, followed by former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai who garnered around 32 per cent of the ballots. If neither candidate gets a majority, Afghan electoral law requires a run-off.
“It is now of fundamental importance that the IECC continues to carry out its obligations to address complaints, notably related to the preliminary results in a professional, expeditious and open manner,” Mr. Kubiš said.
The IEC and IECC need to closely coordinate their work to ensure that credible complaints are properly handled and that the integrity of the electoral process is safeguarded, he stressed.