The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia):
The members of the Security Council welcomed the holding of parliamentary elections in Afghanistan on 20 October, and stressed that the elections, which have been carried out under difficult security conditions under full Afghan ownership, constitute an important moment in the democratic development in Afghanistan. The members of the Security Council commended the participation and courage of Afghans, including the engagement of Afghan women in the elections both as voters and candidates, and reiterated their continued support for the Afghan Government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts to develop sustainable democratic institutions.
The members of the Security Council reiterated the important role of the Afghan electoral institutions, including the Independent Election Commission and the Electoral Complaints Commission, and called on these institutions to redouble efforts to ensure the integrity, neutrality and transparency of the electoral process, including with regards to the detection and prevention of fraud and the observation of the tabulation and announcement of results. The members of the Security Council noted that voting in Kandahar was postponed due to recent security incidents, and emphasized the importance of having this voting take place.
The members of the Security Council called on all stakeholders to engage with the electoral institutions and processes with patience and respect, to continue to refrain from civil disorder and any acts that incite imminent violence or lead to instability, and to channel complaints through the established institutional mechanisms in line with Afghanistan’s electoral laws and Constitution.
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the actions of those who attempted to disrupt the elections, such as attacks against civilians and electoral officials, and emphasized that violence in any form, or the threat thereof, intended to disrupt the elections and the democratic process in Afghanistan is unacceptable and that perpetrators of such acts must be held to account and brought to justice. The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in their leading role in securing their country.