Govt fully committed to electoral reform, elections: Ghani
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani has said the national unity government is fully committed to electoral reform and to holding free and fair parliamentary and district elections.
The president, who convened a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, told the UN envoy and others in attendance that they would pursue electoral reform with full respect to parliament’s role.
A statement from the Presidential Palace in English quoted the president as saying his government was looking forward to parliament’s favorable decision on the electoral law.
He emphasized that in order to provide for full inclusivity, it was necessary that members of parliament discuss and debate the law in detail.
Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah and other government officials and several ambassadors representing Afghanistan’s international partners, participated in the meeting.
The president and the CEO both expressed the importance for members of Wolesi Jirga to facilitate the reform process and approve the law in the joint committee before going to recess.
During the meeting, the UN envoy said he welcomed the efforts by the unity government to make progress on holding elections.
The UN special representative, along with other members of the diplomatic community, expressed support to the government’s efforts to hold elections, and asked the government to outline a realistic timeline.
President Ghani expressed gratitude for the support, and said he has assigned working groups to prepare for the financial and security aspects of the elections. He announced the allocation of US$10 million from the Afghan budget to assist with preparations.
“I welcome your continued support so that we can move swiftly once parliament adopts the electoral law, hopefully next week,” the president said to those in attendance.
Yamamoto told the president that the United Nations is ready to assist the government in its efforts to prepare for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led elections process.
The meeting participants agreed to meet regularly to review progress and preparations, the statement concluded.
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