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Electoral reform panel an important step: UN

KABUL: The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has welcomed the establishment of the Electoral System Reform Commission by the unity government under the chairmanship of Sultan Shah Akefi.

“This is an important step,” said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.

In a statement, the UNAMA head said: “We look forward to a credible, inclusive and transparent electoral reform process.”

He said UNAMA encouraged the Afghan authorities to make the necessary decisions on the electoral calendar for the next parliamentary and other polls.

The mission also acknowledged the nomination of Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary-general’s deputy special representative for Afghanistan to the commission.

The statement said the UN would not be a voting-member of the commission, but to provide advice and technical expertise based on international best practices, while respecting the sovereign right of Afghanistan to make the final decisions on electoral reforms.

Yamamoto is the United Nations’ focal point for electoral support to Afghanistan and will coordinate international assistance to the Electoral System Reform Commission.

“Electoral reforms are essential to restoring the faith of the Afghan people in the democratic process and will lead to greater political stability,” said Yamamoto. (PAN)

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