Kabul – Afghanistan (16 July 2013): Afghanistan Analysis and Awareness (A3) welcomes the approval by the National Assembly of the two laws governing the upcoming presidential and provincial council elections in 2014 and parliamentary elections in 2015. The approval of the Election Law and the Law on the Organization, Duties and Jurisdiction of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) at this critical juncture of Afghan political transition is an important milestone in creating the right framework for ensuring democratic elections and strengthening the foundations of Afghanistan's young democracy.

Indeed, the finalization process itself, though drawn-out, indicates that Afghan institutions are moving towards the right path in establishing the necessary legitimate mechanisms and procedures to ensure the upcoming elections are inclusive, fair and acceptable.

We believe some of the proposed changes in the laws are reasonable and justifiable. Ensuring adequate representation of women both in the national assembly and in provincial councils and defining an electoral constituency for Kuchis are encouraging steps in further cementing solidarity and unity among Afghan citizens. The creation of an Electoral Complaints Commission and the selection committee for appointment of the IEC and ECC commissioners are important elements in ensuring fair electoral processes in the law regulating the structure and responsibilities of the country's electoral management bodies.

We call upon President Karzai to approve and implement the laws without any further delay.

We also reiterate our message to the whole of the international community to play an active role in supporting the successful holding of these elections, which represent a historic moment of opportunity for a brighter future for the Afghan people and stronger long-term relations between a stable, democratic Afghanistan and the international community.

For more information please contact Ajmal O. ABIDY at 0093 (0) 700 27 6861: