UN Special Envoy says insecurity, violence may keep Afghans away from prez polls

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Kabul (Afghanistan), Aug.10 (ANI): The United Nations Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, has said that insurgency-linked insecurity may keep some Afghan voters away from the August 20 presidential elections.

Calling on the Taliban to let the people vote, Eide said that the United Nations is, however, hoping for a "credible" presidential and provincial council elections.

Describing the vote as the "most complicated elections I have seen", Eide said Sunday that Afghanistan could not be expected to meet the elections standards of other countries.

"This is a country in conflict. If we mean freedom for all to be able to cast their vote, that is our ambition but you see how difficult that is. If you talk about free and fair (elections) in terms of an established democracy, then I think that goes beyond expectations of a country like Afghanistan in conflict, (with) weak institutions, weak infrastructure," the Daily Times quoted him, a saying.

Asked about the threat of violence keeping Afghans away from the polls, Eide said: "Yes, of course, I am concerned that the security will affect the turnout on voting day. Of course, the security situation will have a negative impact on the accessibility in some parts of the country."

He said some irregularities could also be expected but he hoped that this would be kept "at the level which will not affect the credibility of the elections as such". (ANI)

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