IRC Welcomes Peaceful Afghan Elections
The IRC said it welcomes the relatively peaceful nature of the October 9 historic presidential elections in Afghanistan, raising hopes of a new period of relative calm and stability throughout the troubled country.
“Fears of violence by anti-government forces and intimidation by local warlords and other leaders had raised very serious concerns as to whether free and fair elections could occur here in Afghanistan. But millions of Afghans did vote in safety and while some violent incidents did take place, these were few,” said Kathleen Campbell, the IRC’s country director in Afghanistan.
“The IRC is hopeful that the elections mark a new period of relative calm and stability throughout Afghanistan which will enable IRC to continue into its third decade of work with the Afghan people, rebuilding communities, homes and livelihoods after decades of war.”
Some opposition candidates have questioned the validity of the vote because of problems with the indelible ink used to prevent multiple voting by marking fingers of people who have already voted.
“The IRC is confident that having peacefully conducted the elections, the people of Afghanistan and the United Nations will fairly and calmly resolve this issue to their own satisfaction,” Campbell said.
Unless the winner garners 51 percent of the vote, a runoff between the top two candidates will be held in November. Primary results are due later this week, but a final count is expected to take several weeks.