OSCE to send election support team to Afghanistan

VIENNA, 15 July 2005 - The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe will send an election support team to Afghanistan to assist with parliamentary and provincial council elections scheduled for 18 September 2005.

OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Afghan Ambassador Zia Nezam on the dispatch of an OSCE team, to be organized and led by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Secretariat.

"Well organized elections are important for fostering democracy and human rights and will help to boost stability in Afghanistan and the region as a whole," the Secretary General said.

The signing of the Memorandum follows a decision by the OSCE Permanent Council on July 7 to send a team of up to 50 election experts to Afghanistan, which is an OSCE Partner for Co-operation.

The team will analyse aspects of the process including electoral legislation, the electoral administration, voter registration, vote counting and tabulation and complaints and appeals. It will also prepare recommendations for improving future elections.

Thanking the OSCE for its support, Ambassador Nezam said the elections were a cornerstone of the government's efforts to build a stable and democratic future for Afghanistan.

"Our goal is to conduct the elections in a manner that will enjoy the full respect of the Afghan people and the international community," he said.


Richard Murphy
OSCE Spokesperson/Head of Press and Public Information
Kaerntner Ring 5-7
1010 Vienna
Tel: +43 1 514 36 180
+43 664 548 53 89 (mobile)
Fax: +43 1 514 36 105