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Electoral preparations being closely monitored: ESG

Electoral preparations being closely monitored: ESG

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Jul 18, 2018 - 14:33

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): An internationally-sponsored organisation says it has been closely following electoral preparations, including the ongoing voter registration process, in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

The Election Support Group (ESG) issued the statement ahead of a meeting of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board in Kabul on June18 (today).

Ambassadors from key donor countries funding international support for the upcoming parliamentary, district council and presidential elections are part of the group.

It includes the European Union, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, United States, NATOinfo-icon and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

“While aware of complaints about some irregularities … the ESG notes that for the first time in Afghanistan’s history, these elections are Afghan-led and Afghan-owned,” the group said.

If the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) and government take the necessary action on time, for the first time, there will be a single list of all eligible voters, as well as specific polling station-based voter lists.

ESG hoped the reforms would eliminate the distribution of extra ballots that had been the major source of alleged fraud in the past.

Other verification measures, if enforced in a timely fashion by relevant institutions, should maximise the credibility of the voter lists, the statement added.

“We acknowledge the widespread frustration with the current electoral system. We have been encouraging the government and political actors to consider and agree on proposed change for some time.

“We regret that effort to do so last year- before the legally required deadline- did not succeed. Everyone involved in those discussions bears some responsibility for the failure to produce a result.”

ESG said the success of the elections depended on the active participation of all stakeholders, including the electoral institutions, the executive branch, candidates, parties, media and societyinfo-icon.

It added the holding of credible and timely parliamentary, district council and presidential election would be an important consideration in decisions regarding future international support for Afghanistan.

“Now is the time for all Afghans to work together to ensure a credible electoral process that advance the stability and democratisation of Afghanistan,” the statement concluded.

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