In a statement, UNAMA called upon electoral institutions, 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, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA.
The mission said that the credibility of any election is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders, not solely that of the Independent Election Commission and Electoral Complaints Commission.
“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. “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.”
UNAMA said that transparency is critical to the credibility of elections and noted the high number of national observers from different entities who are slated to be present at voting stations on election day.
All candidates and voters are expected to play their part in safeguarding the integrity of the election and to refrain from engaging in any electoral irregularities. In any instance where there is credible room for concern about the commission of irregularities, then the ECC should be immediately contacted for them to carry out expeditious and proper investigations, UNAMA said.
UNAMA is committed to doing all within its mandate authority to support the IEC and ECC in the conduct of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned election that is credible, transparent and inclusive, it said.