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UNAMA welcomes IEC decision

UNAMA welcomes IEC decision

Aug 23, 2011 - 11:32

 KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (UNSRSG) for Afghanistaninfo-icon, on Tuesday lauded the decision of Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) concerning the results of last year’s disputed Parliamentary election.

The statement was issued Tuesday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The IEC, Afghanistan’s supreme electoral authority, on Sunday disqualified nine sitting Parliamentarians in the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, or lower house of Parliament, on allegations of electoral fraud.

The decision follows months of controversy. The IEC first certified the results of the September 2010 Parliamentary elections in November, 2010. The commission did so after investigating fraud allegations and ultimately invalidating 1.3 million votes, roughly a quarter of those cast.

The following month, President Karzai set up a five-member special court to investigate remaining claims of fraud. Although the special court initially recommended that Karzai delay seating the lower house, Karzai yielded to international pressure and inaugurated the Wolesi Jirga January 24, 2011.

On June 23, 2011, the special court disqualified 62 sitting MPs and named candidates to replace them, based on the results of a vote recount. The legislature and the IEC both rejected the decision as unconstitutional, saying the court had no authority to alter the certified election results.

On August 10, Karzai issued a decree referring the issue back to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which announced its decision 11 days later, on August 21.

Saying that the IEC decision had brought to an end “a long institutional impasse,” the UNAMA statement continued that “the real work must now begin.”

“The people of Afghanistan expect the parliament, government and judiciary to act within their clearly defined areas of competence, and in accordance with Afghanistan's Constitution and other relevant laws, to bring peace, progress and prosperity to their country,” the statement said.

The statement also said that SRSG de Mistura particularly recognised the role played by President Karzai in resolving the crisis by leaving the IEC “with the sole authority to finalise these results.”

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