With poll results now finalized, UN urges Afghan lawmakers to get to work

By United Nations

The United Nations today stressed the need for Afghan lawmakers get down to business now that the country's electoral authorities have finalized the results of last year's parliamentary elections.

On Sunday the Independent Election Commission (IEC) reportedly announced that nine members of the 249-member Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of Parliament, would be removed and nine others who were previously disqualified over electoral irregularities would now have their seats restored.

“With this decision a long institutional impasse comes to an end,” the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement.

Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of UNAMA, welcomed the commission's decision, and recognized the efforts made by those involved to seek a conclusion to the September 2010 elections, in particular the decision of President Hamid Karzai to leave the IEC with the sole authority to finalize the results.

“The real work must now begin,” the statement added. “The people of Afghanistan expect the Parliament, Government and judiciary to act within their clearly defined areas of competence, and in accordance with Afghanistan's constitution and other relevant laws, to bring peace, progress and prosperity to their country.”

UNAMA added that it remains fully committed to supporting the Afghan people and their democratic institutions.