Norway pleased with Afghan election

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre expressed he is pleased that vote-counting is now under way after the presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan. “The elections were held under very difficult circumstances,” said Mr Støre.

“Now we must wait for the final results to find out who will be Afghanistan’s next president,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre, joining with many others in urging candidates to remain calm, respect the work of the Electoral Complaints Commission, and not draw hasty conclusions.

“It is now up to the independent Electoral Complaints Commission to evaluate claims of election fraud,” the Foreign Minister said.

Mr Støre emphasised that it would not have been possible to hold the elections without the presence of the Afghan police and security forces. Members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), including Norwegians, have also made an important contribution.

“Their presence made it possible for the Afghan people to vote. Every person who has cast their vote has also defied the Taliban’s threats of violence and supported the electoral process. The great majority of the population want peace and an end to the violence,” added Mr Støre.

“In addition, the UN and the EU Election Observation Mission have played an important part in supporting the Afghan elections. Regardless of the results, this has been an important step forward in the process of building democratic Afghan institutions,” concluded the Foreign Minister.

Norway has been represented in the international observer corps both in Kabul and in Herat province in western Afghanistan.

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