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U.N. presses Afghanistan on elections

July 15, 2013 at 10:07 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 15 (UPI) -- Afghanistan can take advantage of forward momentum by ensuring presidential elections and provincial elections take place on time, the U.N. mission said.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan welcomed a legislative decision to pass a law on the structure and responsibilities of electoral management bodies.

"This is a key step toward establishing a robust electoral architecture for the 2014 polls," UNAMA said in a statement Sunday.

Elections would correspond with a gradual drawdown of international forces operating in Afghanistan. NATO said in June the Afghan military was in the lead of security operations in the country.

UNAMA said it was calling on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to endorse the measure to facilitate the appointment of senior officials for the Independent Election Commission.

"The establishment of the electoral dispute resolution mechanism is also crucial for ensuring transparent, credible and inclusive elections," the mission said.

Previous elections were seen as skewed in Karzai's favor. UNAMA said, however, the 2014 election process should be led and managed by Afghans to ensure a successful and sustainable political transition.

Karzai's political future in Afghanistan is restricted by term limits.

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