Summary: May 23, 2005: EU Election Observation Mission for Afghanistan Parliamentary Elections (Brussels)
The European Commission will deploy an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the parliamentary and provincial elections scheduled to take place on 18 September. The EU EOM will be led by Emma Bonino, Member of the European Parliament and its Committee on Foreign Affairs. The EOM is a further contribution by the European Commission to supporting peace and democratisation in Afghanistan.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, said: "Election Observation Missions are an important instrument for building confidence in the democratic processes of a country. Following the successful conduct of the presidential election last year, I hope that Afghanistan will further consolidate its democracy in the forthcoming elections. I am convinced that our EOM, headed by Emma Bonino, will increase the transparency of the process through its presence and reporting".
The 2005 elections in Afghanistan will be held for the lower house of Parliament and provincial councils. They will mark a further crucial step in the Bonn transition process and Afghanistan's stabilisation.
A core team of election experts will arrive in Kabul in July, followed by long-term observers in August, who will be deployed to the provincial level to follow the campaign period and pre-election preparations. Short-term observers will arrive just before election day to observe voting, counting and the tabulation of results. Deployment of all EOM staff in Afghanistan will be subject to careful and continuing security assessment.
In addition to committing €4 million costs of the EOM, a contribution of €8.5 million is being provided towards the cost of organising these elections, as well as €3 million for the institutional development of the Afghan parliament. These are elements of a €1 billion package over 5 years for the reconstruction of the country.
During the 2004 presidential election, the European Commission deployed a Democracy and Election Support Mission (DESM), which concluded that the election "met many key international standards for democratic elections"
For additional information, see also:
EU Election Assistance & Observation:
European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights:
The EU's relations with Afghanistan :