The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) stated on Monday that “everything should be done before 28 September presidential elections” to ensure Afghans’ “right to vote.”
UNAMA called on the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), together with civil society, candidates and all other stakeholders working for transparent and credible elections, to redouble their efforts before polls open.
“An emphatic message from delegates at last week’s UN Security Council session on Afghanistan was that the international community fully supports presidential elections taking place on 28 September,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.
The credibility of any election is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders, not solely that of the IEC and ECC, the statement read, adding that the candidates, civil society organizations, media, ulema and others have important roles to perform. Not least is the importance of mobilizing the electorate to participate: “No one has the authority to disenfranchise Afghans who are registered to vote.”
“Credible elections lie at the heart of any democracy, and the right to vote is in many ways a key symbol of the democratic progress made in Afghanistan over the last 18 years,” Yamamoto said in the statement “Voting is not just a matter of civic responsibility, it is a way of protecting the achievements made in Afghanistan and showing support for peaceful political processes.”
All candidates and voters are expected to play their part in safeguarding the integrity of the election and to refrain from engaging in “electoral irregularities,” according to the statement.
UNAMA affirmed its commitment to doing everything possible within its mandated authority to support the IEC and ECC in an Afghan‐led and Afghan‐owned election that is credible, transparent and inclusive.