Transparency key to Afghan presidential run-off election

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Nicholas Haysom (left). Photo: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA

The upcoming presidential run-off election in Afghanistan needs to be as transparent as possible, according to a senior United Nations official in the country.

Speaking in the capital Kabul, Nicholas Haysom, the deputy head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said this second round of the election gives an opportunity for a much more "effective and complete" democratic exercise to choose a leader.

On 14 June, Afghan voters will return to the polls to decide between the two top candidates from the first round, Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Dr Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

On 5 April, none of those seeking the position achieved the 50 per cent plus one result needed to win.

Mr Haysom said the election raises a number of potential issues.

“The worst case scenario would be if the election is both polarizing and the results are not accepted by one of the candidates. And that has potential to lead to conflict, and the remedy to that is to make the election as transparent as possible, not only to the candidates and to their teams but to the public.”

Mr Haysom added that the Afghan public and the United Nations have asked the candidates to assure that the campaigns would not be conducted in a manner which promotes the risk of ethnic tension and violence.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’30″

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