BRUSSELS (Pajhwok): The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan called upon both Afghanistan’s electoral management bodies and candidates involved in the upcoming presidential run-off vote to fulfill their joint responsibilities in order to safeguard the credibility of the decisive election.
Speaking here at a NATO-hosted meeting of the Defence Ministers of ISAF contributing countries, Ján Kubiš, also appealed to all states to continue support to Afghanistan, including its security forces, extending beyond the projected international military presence.
While acknowledging the improved electoral process seen in the April 5 vote, Kubiš highlighted that the country was at a critical juncture and that further improvements from all parties were now required.
“The two candidates are rightly demanding improvements in the process. “What is vital is that the electoral authorities are seen to act in good faith and to continually strive for technical improvements. I continue to urge the electoral management bodies to ensure full transparency in their decision-making and conduct,” he added.
As head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), he has been working with all stakeholders in support of the inclusiveness and integrity of the Afghan-led elections - and ultimately an outcome which has broad acceptance by the Afghan people. He reiterated UNAMA’s strict neutrality and that it does not support nor favour any candidate.
Noting the recent “sharpening of rhetoric” between supporters of the two candidates, he underlined the need for candidates to demonstrate statesmanship. “I again urge campaigns to remain focused on substance. Appeals to ethnic and factional interests have no place when the need is unity and stability,” he added.
The run-off poll is scheduled to take place on June 14 between the two candidates who obtained the most votes in the first round, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. "I appeal to these two respected, national figures to guide and shape the actions and attitudes of their supporters.”
He condemned the insurgents’ continued attacks and threats of attacks against civilians at the time of the election.