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Free, fair election is best testimony to strengthen Afghan democracy: France

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KABUL: French Embassy in Kabul on Sunday welcomed the initial announcement of Afghan election results, saying, “We take note of the preliminary results of the presidential election.”

The fact that this democratic process could take place in a difficult context is in itself a victory for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its people, the embassy said in a statement. “We commend the President and the Chief Executive for having imposed the election to take place this year, in conformity with the Constitution. We value the work of election management bodies, of civil society and of security forces in the organization of the process.”

France’s position over the last months has consistently been to insist on the inalienable right of the Afghan people to choose its President by way of election, the statement added. “We have been supporting the electoral process from the beginning and we will continue to do so. It was right not to further postpone it and to organize it as smoothly as security conditions permitted.”

According to the statement, “A free and fair election is the best testimony of the strength of the Afghan democracy. The Afghan people deserve the full respect of the Constitution, which is their war bounty. Implementing and preserving it is the best way to consolidate the rights and values it enshrines against the enemies of the Republic and of democracy.”

The electoral process must now be completed. “All complaints must be adjudicated by the Electoral Complaints Commission, in full respect of the latter’s competences, prerogatives and independence. The electoral law in all its provisions must be completely enforced,” the statement added.

“The votes of those who risked their lives to cast their ballot must be respected. As long as the law is fully respected, a low turn-out is not a cause for illegitimacy. The Afghan people are entitled to have a legitimate and credible process until its very end.”

The electoral process is not, and has never been, incompatible with peace negotiations, on the contrary. “A democratically elected president with a clear mandate from the people will have the necessary legitimacy to engage the Republic into inter-Afghan negotiations. The future president will have to bring together all Afghans and take an inclusive stance to bring a sustainable peace while building upon the achievements of the last 18 years and tackling vital issues, such as effective struggle against terrorism, narcotrafficking, poverty and corruption.”

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has announced the preliminary results after almost three months of delay. President Ashraf Ghani with earning 50.64% of votes has secured majority of poll in the elections, while Abdullah Abdullah earned 39.52% of votes stands at second place. 

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