The top United Nations envoy in Afghanistan today voiced discontent with the process of vetting candidates ahead of September`s parliamentary elections, stating that it has not produced a satisfactory result.
The Vetting Committee could have done a more thorough job and at this stage we are disappointed, " Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General`s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said in a statement.
The final candidate list for the 18 September polls " the first time Afghan institutions are running their own elections " has been announced. Out of 2,577 candidates, 13 appear to have been excluded for having links to illegal armed groups.
The vetting of candidates was carried out, at their request, by the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defence and the National Directorate of Security.
In accordance with Afghan electoral laws, this information was then passed on to Afghanistan`s electoral institutions " the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) " for action.
The process of vetting has not produced a satisfactory result so far, " stated Mr. de Mistura, while adding that the IEC and ECC have done their jobs in carrying out their part of the vetting process.
He noted that President Hamid Karzai is equally concerned and planning to constructively and proactively " attempt to address this issue.
While pledging the UN`s commitment to supporting the IEC and ECC technically and logistically as required over the coming months, the Special Representative pointed out that, in the end, it will be up to the people of Afghanistan to determine who will best represent them.
The ultimate word, and the ultimate vetting, is up to the Afghan voters, the electorate, as it is in any country, " said Mr. de Mistura.
Meanwhile, the members of the visiting Security Council delegation met today with Afghan electoral officials and parliamentarians in the capital, Kabul, including the Chairman and commissioners of the IEC and ECC.
The mission by the 15-member body, which last visited Afghanistan in November 2008, is led by Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan of Turkey and intended to review progress made by the Government with assistance from the international community, and to demonstrate its continued support for the country`s efforts to ensure a sustainable peace.