The United Nations has set a new condition for Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission in return for funding the upcoming presidential election of the country which is scheduled to be held on September 28.
According to an IEC official, who wishes not to be named, the UN has recommended IEC to hold the presidential elections on the scheduled date and postpone the provincial council and Ghazni parliamentary elections for another date.
Recently, Tadamichi Yamamoto, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said that “the UN’s technical advice is that with only 4 months remaining to 28 Sept Presidential Election day there is a need for realism and urgent focus among all actors in the Afghan election process.”
However, Yamamoto stated that IEC is independent in making decisions about elections in Afghanistan.
“The IEC decides on how many elections to hold. The UN provides technical guidance to it and respects its decisions,” he said.
Conversely, IEC has rejected the UN proposal of delaying the provincial councils and Ghazni parliamentary elections, saying holding all the three elections on the same day is their red line.
“We have decided to hold the three elections on September 28, certainly the government and donors will fund all the process,” said Rahima Zarifi, a commissioner of the IEC.
Meanwhile, electoral observers say that it is not clear yet who will fund the upcoming elections.
So far, the Afghan Ministry of finance has funded 25% of the elections budget for voter’s registration process but it was not clear who will fund the rest of the $207 million.