Immediately after the completion of the voting process in Afghanistan’s much-awaited parliamentary elections, President Ashraf Ghani sent out a message thanking security forces and members of the public for not having surrendered to insurgents.
He said that the completion of the election process had sent a clear message to the Taliban that the Afghan people would not surrender to any bullying.
“The great people of Afghanistan, thank you! By casting your votes, you sent a message to the world that you do not want violence, you demonstrated your determination through democracy. You proved to the Taliban that this nation will not surrender to anyone,” said Ghani in a speech to the Afghan people on Sunday.
He said that if the Taliban have ethical courage they must consult with the nation and prove themselves through the will of the nation.
“I want to urge the Taliban to come among the people and show whether their way has a place among the people or the way of democracy. The Afghans proved to their enemies that they do not surrender to threats and warnings,” added Sayyad.
He said that the participation of women in the elections as candidates and voters was an historic success for democracy in Afghanistan.
“I thank these women and their families. Their participation is a historic success for Afghanistan’s democracy and it is a great beginning for our new generation. I hope that you participate in the presidential elections in such a large scale.”
Ghani also thanked the candidates who according to him participated in a credible and healthy competition and mobilized the people.
“I thank you (Candidates), you participated in a credible and healthy competition and mobilized the people. You have a deep root among the people. Because of you, there was enthusiasm and movement among the people. From among 2,500 candidates, only 250 will go to the Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament), we do not have losers or winners here, all of you are the winner of democracy,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Independnet Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) has also hailed the Afghan people who defied threats and participated in the elections.
IEC chief Abdul Badi Sayyad said: “I thank the Afghans for their large turnout in the elections, it rejected the rumors around allegation of ghost registration. this helps Afghanistan to further develop democracy and democratic institutions. I also thank political parties and civil society who mobilized the people to participate. I also thank the Afghan government leaders who supported us and encouraged us. Elections were at 4,500 polling centers, except Kandahar, and were held at 276 centers today.
He said that vote counting has been completed by 80 percent of the voting stations.
According to the IEC , over three million Afghans voted in the elections.