World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Monitors Call For Tighter Pre-Election Security


New York, Aug 22 2005 2:00PM

Despite the positive impact of campaigning and voter registration ahead of Afghanistan’s parliamentary and provincial elections, the joint United Nations-Afghan team urged national and international security forces to respond quickly to keep the process on track, amid escalating violence against candidates, election workers and others.

“Despite the fact that extremists have failed to derail the election process or to pressure candidates to withdraw, the possibility exists that the threat of violent attacks will have an impact on the campaign process and on Election Day, potentially disenfranchising large parts of the Pashtun population,” says a joint report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). The Pashtuns live mainly in southern Afghanistan.

UNAMA and the AIHRC are verifying the exercise of political rights in Afghanistan to ensure free and fair elections on 18 September. That ballot, which will wrap up the war-torn country’s political transition, is on track with 5,800 registered candidates and about 1.5 million newly registered voters.

“The overall impact was positive, particularly for women in conservative regions,” says the report, which adds that the range of candidates does not support the view that the elections will be dominated by commanders and armed elements.

At the same time, verification team also indicated shortcomings in the environment and “worrying trends.” The escalation of violent attacks against candidates, election staff, civic educators and community leaders is particularly alarming and poses the greatest threat to the election process, with the east, southeast and south being the areas of greatest concern, says the report.

“Concerted action will need to be taken by national and international security forces to respond to the security threats,” the report says, adding: “While the establishment of the National Joint Election Operation Center is encouraging, much more will have to be done to ensure that the police, national army and international security forces work closely to address the security challenges ahead.”

The report also says that efforts should also be undertaken by Afghan officials at the central and local level to create “security zones” in vulnerable areas in order to ensure that candidates can carry out campaign activities without fear of violent attacks. And while the Ministry of Interior’s orders instructing the chiefs of police to undertake measures to protect female candidates and voters is welcome, more specific measures must be adopted by government authorities at the central and local level.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news