ABUL (Pajhwok): US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass on Wednesday welcomed finalisation of the election budget, saying the Trump administration would provide up to $29 million to support the required operations.
“Conduct of the elections will also be funding independently Afghan domestic observers’ efforts so people have confidence in the way the election is conducted and in the results,” he added.
Although the budget was an important step, there were many more measures the commission and the relevant ministries needed to take to ensure polls occurred on scheduled, the envoy added.
“We need to see the additional staff hired and trained by the commission. We need to see the voter lists published. We all need to see finalization of procurement and training on the biometric verification devices.”
“At the same time, we have strong expectations, as do all Afghans, to see all candidates respecting Afghan law that prohibits government officials or people with access to government officials from using government resources to benefit their campaign,” he added.
“We expect all candidates, whether they are currently in government positions or not, to refrain from trying to use government resources -- money, the power to appoint people or simply going about their business in ways that are intended to benefit their campaign.
“We expect to see everyone respect Afghan law, and we expect that because the Afghan people expect that,” Bass said
The envoy noted it was quite important that the electoral commission be communicating with the public about its activities.
The Afghan public should understand the preparations that were underway and that progress was being made to prepare for the important elections, the ambassador said.

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