KABUL (PAN): The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Monday made it clear the level of its engagement in the upcoming parliamentary elections, postponed for four months, would depend on reforms. A day after the postponement, a spokesman for the mission told journalists in Kabul the government and the IEC had to approach the world body for assistance. The UN Security Council would consider the appeal, he assured. Nazifullah Salarzai welcomed the IEC decision with regard to delaying the vote, which was due in May. "We all know that the 2009 elections were one of the most difficult we have seen with lots of challenges. But let's not forget that it was the first elections conducted by Afghans." The commission would have time to prepare for the elections as a result of the move that would enable the authorities concerned to prevent a recurrence of the flaws seen in the presidential and provincial council ballot, he added. "The UN has made it clear that our participation and support to the parliamentary elections depend on the level of reforms at the lower and top level of the commission. When we talk about reforms, it means from top to low we want to have transparent elections," the official observed. If the Wolesi Jirga polls lacked transparency, he warned, the country would plunge into a political crisis. But the spokesman hastened to explain the UN and its election organisations were ready to assist the Afghans in exercising their democratic right to vote. Reacting to the observation, an IEC spokesman claimed the commission had made the reforms within its authority after the August presidential elections. The panel's spokesman Noor Muhammad Noor revealed some provincial officials had been fired for failing to perform their duties properly. Noor added introducing reforms at the higher level was the president's discretion. But he assured the commission would not be shaken up in line with the choice of 'others.' In his opening remarks, the UNAMA official said the international community would come together at this week's London conference to align military and civilian resources behind an Afghan-led political strategy, with a focus on reform. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Hamid Karzai and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be co-hosting the Jan. 28 event, which will be co-chaired by Special Representative of Secretary-General Kai Eide and British and Afghan foreign ministers. mnm/mud

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.