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UN welcomes progress on Afghanistan elections

AT-KABUL: The United Nations welcomes the progress made by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in setting an October 2018 date to hold Afghanistan’s parliamentary and district council elections.

“Setting a firm date for elections is a notably positive and important development in the work of the IEC, and will allow progress from the formal planning stages to implementation,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.

“Transparent and inclusive elections are an essential component of Afghanistan demonstrating the strength of the democratic political processes taking root here,” said Yamamoto, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). “The participation of all Afghans in the electoral process, not merely the elections themselves, is critical.”

In December 2017, donors pledged to fund up to 90 per cent of the US$28.4 million voter registration budget, in addition to pledging ongoing assistance to the IEC and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC).

“The United Nations and the broader international community remain committed to supporting an Afghan-owned elections process,” said the UN envoy.

Under Resolution 2405 (2018), the Security Council requested UNAMA to support Afghan authorities in the organization of elections, and to strengthen the integrity, sustainability and inclusiveness of the electoral process.

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