The Presidential Candidate Council (CPC) on Friday sent a letter to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) saying that the UN mission did not maintain its neutrality when it sent a letter to the Independent Election Commission to complain about the behavior of election commissioner Maulana Mohammed Abdullah
“The CPC believes that the United Nations, according to its mandate and basic commitments in regard to national and international problems, is neutral. Though it has become apparent that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is facing difficulties in upholding its neutrality regarding certain matters,” said in the statement.
“I don’t think, in general, UNAMA is responsible for that action. I think channels are active there (inside UNAMA) and such channels are doing their jobs everywhere,” said Assadullah Sadati, the second vice-presidential candidate for the Stability and Partnership team.
But UNAMA says it is completely neutral in the election process, and UNAMA does not support any political faction:
“Thank you Presidential Candidate Council (CPC) for the open letter. Be 100% assured of UNAMA’s strict impartiality and independence. We support independent electoral institutions and an open process, not any political faction. Any person saying they have ‘channels’ into UNAMA is mistaken. They do not,” UNAMA tweeted.
On the other hand, some Twitter users say they have been blocked from UNAMA's twitter account after they criticized UNAMA’s role in the election process.
“They (UNAMA) should be a supporter of freedom of expression--when someone who is a role model is also a violator, that creates doubts about democracy,” said Gul Ahmad Azimi, a senate member.
In response to these criticisms, UNAMA said that while criticism is beneficial, posts that are “threatening” and “abusive” will not be tolerated.
“Thank you UNAMA news followers and all backing constructive debate. Together, let’s defend freedom of expression with zero tolerance for hate speech. Let’s stop abusive, threatening and vulgar social media posts. Criticism is healthy. No to hateful insults and wild allegations,” UNAMA tweeted.
Meanwhile, Ghani’s team said that commissioners inside the IEC should not disturb the election process in favor of a specific team.
“Commissioners inside the IEC should have a national mindset, they should not be for a team, and challenge the process for a team,” said Rezwan Murad, spokesman for Ghani’s electoral team.