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Afghanistan gearing up for national elections

  |   Feb. 20, 2014 at 9:23 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The Independent Election Commission in Afghanistan said it met with U.N., human rights officials and foreign representatives to review plans for the April vote.

The IEC said members of the Afghan Human Rights Commission met in Kabul with election officials, U.N. officials and foreign envoys to discuss April elections. A running clock on the IEC website says elections are in 45 days.

Jan Kubis, U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan, said national officials should coordinate more closely to ensure the results of the April presidential and provincial council elections are accepted by winners and losers alike.

"It is very important that you act with integrity, honesty and transparency; you have the fate of your country in your hands," he said in a statement Wednesday.

Previous elections in Afghanistan were tainted by allegations of corruption.

There are 11 candidates running for president and 2,713 are cleared to run for seats in provincial councils.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is ineligible to compete because of term limits. Successful elections will mark the first time in Afghanistan history that power is handed peacefully from one democratically elected administration to the next.

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