The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has called for respect of the country’s Constitution and laws, as well as its independent electoral institutions, following the announcement today by a candidate in the Presidential elections that he will suspend his cooperation with the electoral process.
“Regrettable as this step may be, we will continue to engage closely with both campaigns and the electoral commissions, consulting with them on a way forward,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš. He also recalled the code of conduct signed by both candidates where they pledged to cooperate with the electoral commissions.
“We believe that the electoral process should continue as laid out in the laws passed by the National Assembly. In particular, the mandate of the electoral institutions – the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) – must be respected,” he added.
“For their part, the electoral bodies have to demonstrate the highest levels of transparency and integrity and continue to proactively respond to valid candidate concerns,” Mr. Kubiš continued. “All efforts should be made to ensure that all valid votes are counted and all invalid ballots rejected – such efforts will have our full support.”
UNAMA learned of the decision of the candidate, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, to suspend his campaign’s cooperation with the IEC and IECC at his press conference today, in addition to his suggestion for the creation of a commission under UN supervision to oversee the election process.
With the utmost concern, the UN Mission notes that appeals to circumvent or abandon the legal process and framework and appeal directly to supporters could incite violence. Indeed, some people have already called for civil disobedience and some incidents have already taken place.
UNAMA strongly urges the candidates to take all steps necessary to control their supporters to prevent them from making any irresponsible statements and from taking steps that could lead to civil disorder and instability.
The UN Mission urges the candidates and their supporters to act in the national interest and reminds them of their personal and political responsibility for peace, stability and the unity of the country.