UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto on Wednesday called on the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to ensure that the next parliamentary and district council elections are held as scheduled.
He said the elections must be broad-based and transparent in order to attain the endorsement of the international community as it will also strengthen democracy in Afghanistan.
“This commitment is matched by the full expectations that Afghanistan will hold timely, transparent, inclusive and credible elections,” said Yamamoto.
Meanwhile, the Japanese embassy in Kabul announced on Wednesday it would give $13 million USD in aid to the election commission.
Mitsuji Suzuka, Japan’s ambassador to Kabul said the government and the people of Japan are committed to their promises they made to Afghanistan during international summits and Japan will continue its support to Afghanistan.
Japanese financial cooperation will be spent on capacity building within the IEC. The United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) will spend the money on key areas pertaining to the election commission and election process.
UNDP has said the elections are essential to the democratic governance in Afghanistan and around the world and the international body reaffirms its commitment to support transparent and credible and inclusive elections in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, IEC officials have said that the commission is committed to holding transparent elections.
“The assistance will help us to conduct broad-based and transparent elections in Afghanistan, an election which is acceptable to the people and to the international community,” said IEC chief Abdul Badi Sayyad.
“We hope the aid continues to the election commissions and the election process in Afghanistan by donor institutions so that public trust is built on the transparent elections,” said Abdul Aziz Aryayee, head of Electoral Complaints Commission.
The election commission has scheduled parliamentary and district council elections for July 7 of this year but last week said government needs to respond to the commission about the constituency proposal at least six months before elections. However, they have not heard back from government regarding the issue.
The Afghan government has also pledged to take all possible measures to ensure transparent elections.