US Ambassador Bass: Candidates Must Follow Afghan Rules During Campaigning, Afghans Demand Transparent Elections

US Ambassador to Kabul John Bass’s statement on Afghan presidential elections was released on Wednesday by the US Embassy. Mr Bass said that US is glad that the Afghan Independent Electoral Commission has finalised the election budget, which has now enabled the US to grant up to $29 million to support operations for elections, conduction of the elections, and even funding independent electoral observers.

Bass said that Budget is an important step, and there are many more steps that have to be taken by electoral commission and relevant ministries to ensure the presidential elections happen smoothly and fairly.

He emphasised that the elections should take place on time, and emphasised on thr importance of taking care of facets like the election staff, voter list, finalisation of procurement and training of biometric devices, all of which is essential.

He conceded that there is “Strong expectation” of US to candidates respect Afghan law that prohibits government officials from using government resources from benefiting their campaign, whether its money, appointment, etc.

He said that Afghan people expect the above, most importantly and added that it is very important for IEC to communicate with Afghan about its activities, so the people know the elections are transparent and fair.

The Presidential elections are due to take place in September, after 2 postponements.

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