US envoy calls on presidential candidates to respect law
KABUL: The US Ambassador to Afghanistan, John Bass, on Wednesday said the United States expects that all candidates refrain from using government resources during election.
“We expect all the candidates, whether they are currently in government positions or not, to refrain from trying to use government resources, whether that’s money, whether that’s the power to appoint people, whether that’s simply going about their business in ways that is intended to benefit their campaign,” Bass said.
“We expect to see everyone respect Afghan law, and we expect that because the Afghan people expect that,” he said.
He also said that US pleased the election budget has finally been finalized which enabled the United States to provide up to $29 million to support operations.
“Conduct of the elections will also be funding independently Afghan domestic observers efforts so people have confidence in the way the election is conducted and in the results,” he added.
He mentioned that there are many more steps the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the relevant ministries need to take to ensure elections occur when scheduled.
“We need to see the additional staff hired and trained by the commission. We need to see the voters lists published,” Bass said, adding that “We all need to see finalization of procurement and training on the biometric verification devices.”
The US envoy noted that it is important that the electoral commission be communicating with the public about its activities.
The election commission has estimated the budget at around $149 million.
The Afghan government has pledged to pay $90 million of the budget. (TOLOnews)