Afghans urged to show patience and respect for electoral institutions and processes during polls: Ban

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Afghan citizen participating in Presidential and Provincial Council elections in 2009. UN Photo/Tim Page

The Secretary-General has urged Afghan candidates and voters to show patience and respect for electoral institutions and processes during Saturday's historic polls.

In a statement read by his Spokesperson, Ban Ki-moon also appealed to the people of Afghanistan to abide by the poll results.

The country is holding presidential and provincial council elections on 5 April which will lead to the first transfer of power from one democratically elected leader to another.

UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, says the Secretary-General is encouraged by the technical and security preparations and broad public engagement for the elections.

"These are extremely important elections for the country. He urges all Afghan men and women to participate in the vote on 5 April and to take this opportunity to have their say on the future direction of their country. The Secretary-General denounces violence by any group. He specifically condemns statements by the Taliban threatening further attacks on civilian election workers, candidates, observers, voters and election sites. He reiterates that deliberate attacks against civilians are serious violations of international humanitarian law and that those responsible will be held accountable."  (28″)

The Secretary-General welcomes Afghan ownership of the electoral process and calls upon Afghan institutions to discharge their responsibility to deliver credible, inclusive and transparent elections.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’26”

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