News - Election 2014
Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah's decision to cut ties with the Independent Election Commission (IEC) raised reactions from the international community including the diplomatic missions of the United Nations (UN), United States and Britain.
"Election commissions must show the highest level of transparency and trustworthiness and must address the concerns of the candidates," said Nazifullah Salarzay, spokesman for the United Nations Office in Afghanistan. "Efforts must be made to ensure that legit votes are counted and illegitimate votes are avoided, they will receive our complete support."
The UN has asked that the constitution and election laws be respected by both the campaign teams and electoral commissions. They request that the campaign teams respect the work of the IEC, but also emphasized that the election commission must be more transparent in the process.
Echoeing the UN, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in a press release that they hope that Dr. Abdullah will resume his cooperation with the electoral commissions.
"There are specific guidelines for the review and addressing of complaints in Kabul and provinces for both commissions in each step of the election process," the U.S. Embassy press release stated. "Both candidates must continue their cooperation with the election institutions; we request the election commissions to show that concerns and complaints of the candidates are given attention and are addressed impartially. Talks between the electoral commissions and candidates are crucial and we persuade them to start direct talks as soon as possible."
Meanwhile, the British Embassy in Kabul released a press statement of its own and said that the peoples' votes must be respected and that the electoral commissions should seriously and immediately address all complaints.
"We have been following closely the comments of the candidates and their teams since the election. The IEC and ECC have established mechanisms for receiving, investigating and adjudicating complaints," the British Embassy media release stated. "It is important that both campaign teams use these mechanisms, and we call on the Commissions to investigate all complaints promptly and rigorously and take all necessary corrective action. The votes of the Afghan people must be respected. We will strongly support both campaigns and the Commissions in their efforts to ensure that all fraudulent votes are identified and rejected."
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) officials have said that they are also closely monitoring the situation, but stressed that the election process is the responsibility of Afghans.