“Almost one third of Afghanistan’s over seven thousand polling centres could not open due to insecurity. This is raising concerns about inclusivity. The main question, therefore, is not whether the elections will be imperfect but how Afghanistan’s electoral institutions will manage these limitations,” Yamamoto said.
Yamamoto said he remains very concerned about security and political challenges to Afghanistan’s first parliamentary elections since 2010, scheduled for Oct. 20.
He said the elections, plus the presidential vote set for next April, will be a test for Afghanistan’s young democratic institutions. The Independent Election Commission, which is in the lead, will be looked on to perform with “the highest degree of integrity, professionalism and with full accountability to the Afghan people,” he added.
The U.N. envoy noted “It is a time for important decisions in Afghanistan. These decisions will affect the fundamental fabric of the society and future of Afghanistan.”
In the meantime, Afghanistan’s U.N. ambassador, Mahmoud Saikal, said the government is “keenly following” the envisioned U.S. talks with the Taliban.
He said regional and international support for the Afghan-led peace process “is vital” to its success.
This comes as Afghanistan will attend the Geneva Summit, which will address Afghanistan’s commitment to reform that includes fighting corruption and reforming the security sector.