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US diplomat endorses IEC policy on vote count

US diplomat endorses IEC policy on vote count

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Oct 17, 2019 - 13:19

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): US Acting Assistance Secretary for South and Central Affairs Alice Wells has supported the Independent Election Commission’s (IECinfo-icon) policy of counting only biometrically verified votes.

She said Afghan media and both President Ashraf Ghani and his Chief Executive Officer Abdullah had pledged to respect the independence of IEC in tallying the votes and eventual announcement of the winner.

Speaking of her recent meetings with Afghan leaders, Wells said: “I underscored that we support the IEC and ECCinfo-icon’s effort to independently lead the electoral process without pressure or interference. I also welcomed the IEC’s reaffirmation of its policy to only count biometric votes,” said Wells.

She added the US would continue backing Afghanistaninfo-icon in its strides towards peace and self-sustainability.

“I had a very productive visit to Afghanistan, emphasising the US commitment to partner with Afghans who are working towards peace, self-sustainability and a transparent election, process,” Wells stated.

She also called on the Afghan election organisations to ensure transparency in the process.

“In my meetings with President Ghani and Abdullah, commissioners of the IEC and IECC and independent election observers, I underlined that Afghans who risked their lives casting ballots and protecting voters’ expectations of the process to be transparent,” said Wells.

Wells said: “While the administration reviews its next steps in support of a political settlement to the conflict, Afghan men and womeninfo-icon…should continue to work toward a consensus on peace to ensure that they are able to take advantage of opportunities to advance a negotiated political settlement,”.

She also called on the presidential candidates to abide by their commitments.

She said the US wanted both Ghani and Abdullah to ensure fighting corruption and strengthening governance and that the US was still committed to its partnership with Afghanistan.

“The international community continues to expect all candidates to honor their code of conduct within the electoral process, and to not make claims of election results in advance of the IEC,” she said.

On corruption, Wells remarked: “To both the president and the CEO, I underscored that Afghanistan needs to do more to counter corruption and strengthen governance. The United States is committed to its partnership with Afghanistan. But the United States government and the Afghan people expect that the government will use the public and donor funds to provide services, justice and economic opportunity.”

sa/mud

 

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