With two-thirds of the ballot boxes from the audit of the Presidential run-off election now processed, the United Nations in Afghanistan today urged the two campaigns of Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani to cooperate fully with electoral authorities to bring the audit to completion at the earliest time.
According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), any further delays only exacerbate the already heavy toll that the current uncertainty has on the political, security and economic environment, as well as on the lives of ordinary Afghans.
“An audit of this scale and complexity has never been attempted before anywhere in the world,” said the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš, in a statement from Kabul.
“I commend all those who have contributed to the progress in moving this critical process forward to the point where a credible outcome will soon be known,” he said, adding, “Then we expect that both leaders and their campaigns will honour their commitments to respect the outcome of the process.”
Mr Kubiš said the UN expected that, besides the rapid conclusion of the vote audit process, the two presidential candidates would also at the earliest time reach an agreement on the establishment of a national unity government, which would lead Afghanistan from the current situation to stability.
“The government of national unity based on partnership is the only option acceptable to the Afghan people and the international community. Speculation about any unconstitutional alternatives or appeals for civil disobedience can only worsen the current complicated situation,” he said.
UNAMA, notes that the audit is unique for Afghanistan in terms of its scale, depth, observation, international supervision and the genuine joint responsibility given to the two campaigns for oversight of the process. The features of this ambitious exercise and the request to the international community to help implement it were set out in the 12 July Agreement reached between the two candidates.
“The UN is dedicated to playing its part fully so that the audit effectively separates valid votes from fraudulent ballots in order to determine the will of Afghan voters and promote the ultimate goal of helping Afghanistan achieve its first ever peaceful transfer of power from one elected president to another,” said Mr. Kubiš, whao added: "Rarely have so many recognised experts and highly experienced electoral professionals been brought together at one time to support an elections process."