The UN representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto says the election commission (IEC) has the sole and exclusive authority to take decisions on electoral preparations and implementation. “Nobody has challenged that authority.”
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Kabul, Yamamoto said: “I am very encouraged by the recent increase in the pace of the voter registration process. We have already seen over 1.7 million Afghan people registered up until now, and 28 percent of them are women.”
The UN envoy said that the extension of the registration period of one additional month in the provincial capitals is a “very welcome step.”
IEC is expected to start voter registration drive in the districts and rural areas after the end of the phase of the process.
“I hope that many Afghan people will use this opportunity to register and exercise their right to vote,” he said.
The head of UNAMA, meanwhile said that the elections are an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process. And that the United Nations is supporting the process.
“Working closely with the IEC, and giving them technical advice. We are working very closely in all aspects of the electoral process. The IEC has the sole, exclusive authority to take decisions on electoral preparations and implementation. Nobody has challenged that authority,” he said.
On Monday, Chief Executive Abdullah said that the IEC members should not be threatened to quit and that putting pressures on the commission is “illegal and unacceptable”, following the resignation of Shahla Haq, acting secretariat of IEC, over the controversial issue of stamping copies of ID cards.
In this regard, the UN representative said: “The modality of elections, including the use of photocopies for voter registration, should be a decision to be made clear by the IEC,”
“We will support the decision made by the IEC and encourage the IEC to transparently and clearly communicate its decision to the people, including the measures which are taken to prevent fraud.”