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US, EU welcome Afghan election date, pledge support

US, EU welcome Afghan election date, pledge support

Jun 23, 2017 - 03:50

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The United States and the European Union (EU) on Thursday welcomed the announcement of a July 7, 2018 date for parliamentary elections in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

In a statement, the US Embassy in Kabul said the United States and other international partners would work with the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan, assisting it to implement necessary electoral reforms and make practical and logistical preparations for voting.

“To truly reflect the will of the Afghan people, these elections should be transparent, fair, and credible,” the statement said. 

Stressing broad consultation and consensus building among all Afghans to safeguard the political stability of the country and legitimacy of its institutions, the United States welcomed close IECinfo-icon collaborative efforts with Afghanistan’s civil societyinfo-icon and the full spectrum of political actors to achieve the consensus and ensure transparency and integrity of the elections.

Meanwhile, the European Union said broad consultations with Afghan political stakeholders underlined the government's commitment to ensuring a transparent electoral process.

“We expect the Independent Electoral Commission, political stakeholders and civil society to continue working closely together towards inclusive, transparent and credible elections, and to further democratic developments,” the EU said in a statement.

The EU said key decisions on electoral reform would now have to be taken by the Afghan authorities in a timely manner.

“Broad-based political support for and clear communication on these reforms will help to restore public confidence in the elections and electoral bodies”.

The European Union was committed to supporting the Afghan electoral process and the right of Afghan citizens to exercise their civic and democratic rights, the statement said.

It added the EU intended to adopt a €3.5 million project to strengthen Afghanistan's electoral institutions, funded under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace.

“This project will help to enhance the integrity of the electoral process, and will complement existing and upcoming European Union electoral assistance in Afghanistan.”

The statement said the European Union was committed to a peaceful, stable and democratic Afghanistan, to the benefit of all Afghans, of the region and beyond.

pr/ma

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