U.N. welcomes Afghan election measures

Aug. 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Establishing an election dispute program in Afghanistan is central to plans for a transparent presidential contest in 2014, the U.N. mission said.

Incumbent President Hamid Karzai is ineligible to compete because of term limits.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said it welcomed the appointment of members to an independent election commission. The appointment follows the approval of election laws governing next year's contest.

"The U.N. mission notes that the establishment of the electoral dispute resolution mechanism is equally crucial for ensuring transparent, credible and inclusive elections," it said in a statement Saturday.

Presidential and provincial council elections are scheduled April 5. International combat forces are looking to end their commitments to Afghanistan next year as well.

Karzai backed the election laws in a July decree. Elections since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 were seen as skewed in his favor.

"An inclusive appointments process is an important development in the establishment of a credible and robust electoral architecture for Afghanistan's presidential and provincial council elections," the U.N. mission said.

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