The European Union welcomes the presentation of the EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) final report on the presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan on 20 August 2009. The EU EOM has done a commendable job in observing a challenging election process.
The European Union calls for an Afghan-led review process based on lessons learned from these and previous elections, with the specific aim of making necessary improvements to the electoral system before the parliamentary and district elections are held. Such efforts should be initiated without delay, be broad and transparent, and include representatives of the parliament, civil society and other political actors.
The European Union concurs with the main conclusions of the EOM, including the need to safeguard the independence of the IEC, the capacity of the ECC and a framework for detection and mitigation of fraud, the implementation of the media law, the accuracy of the voter registry and a credible candidate vetting system.
The European Union notes that these recommendations are largely in line with the conclusions of other observation groups, and of the Election Support Team of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The Candidate Countries Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.