KABUL): The European Union (EU) has stressed the need for Afghan-owned and Afghan-driven, inclusive and transparent presidential elections with a legitimate outcome broadly accepted by the Afghans.
EU Special Representative and Head of Delegation to Afghanistan Vygaudas Usackas also emphasised the importance of adopting a sound legal electoral framework, including the establishment of a credible complaints mechanism.
Participating in a UN Security Council debate on Afghanistan, he said: “The EU encourages the government of Afghanistan to appoint the chairman of the Independent Election Commission and its commissioners through a consultative process…”
In a statement, the diplomat said election preparations should be transparent and they should involve all relevant stakeholders, including the IEC.
Usackas alleged that corruption continued to be a major problem that touched the lives of many Afghans. “It is vital that the government visibly tackles the issue to strengthen the legitimacy of the state, improve service delivery for citizens and establish a business environment conducive to domestic and foreign investment.”
With regard to reconciliation, he stressed enduring peace would have to rest on a political settlement comprising all national, regional and international stakeholders. He suggested the process had to be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process, and that the EU would continue to support the High Peace Council.
The support pledged in Chicago and Tokyo would continue only if the 2014 presidential vote was conducted in a credible, inclusive and transparent manner and genuine steps were undertaken to deal with corruption and protect human rights, especially of women.