Final decision of IEC welcomed by UNAMA
By Ghanizada - Tue Aug 23, 12:48 pm
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 – The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (UNSRSG) for Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday praised the decision of Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) concerning the results of last year’s disputed Parliamentary election.
In a statement issued by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), welcome the final decision by the Independent Election Commission.
The comments came after the IEC, Afghanistan’s supreme electoral authority, on Sunday disqualified nine sitting Parliamentarians in the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of Parliament, on allegations of electoral fraud.
The decision follows months of controversy.
The 2010 Parliamentary elections results were first certified by the Independent Election Commission in November 2010.
The results were certified after investigating fraud allegations and ultimately invalidating 1.3 million votes, roughly a quarter of those casts.
To investigate the remaining claims of fraud, Afghan president Hamid Karzai called for the formation of a five-member special court .
Despite the issues over parliamentary election results and recommendations from the special tribunal to delay seating the lower house, Karzai yielded to international pressure and inaugurated the Wolesi Jirga January 24, 2011.
Tensions among the Afghan parliament and the Afghan government escalated after legislature and the IEC both rejected the June 23rd decisions of the special court regarding disqualification of 62 sitting MPs.
The decision was called as unconstitutional, saying the court had no authority to alter the certified election results.
The issue was once again referred back to Independent Election Commission after Hamid Karzai issued a decree to resolve the impasse on August 10.
Independent Election Commission announced its decision 11 days later, on August 21.
In a statement issued by the UNAMA said, the IEC decision had brought to an end “a long institutional impasse.”
The statement further added, , “the real work must now begin.”
The statement issued by UNAMA also said, “The people of Afghanistan expect the parliament, government and judiciary to act within their clearly defined areas of competence, and in accordance with Afghanistan’s Constitution and other relevant laws, to bring peace, progress and prosperity to their country.”
Special Representative for the Secretary General of the UN, de Staffan de Mistura, in the statement recognized the role played by President Karzai in resolving the crisis by leaving the IEC “with the sole authority to finalize these results.”