KABUL, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has signed a project document aimed at supporting and strengthening Afghan electoral institutions and their operations, the mission said in a statement Thursday.
The Project Document was signed on Wednesday in Kabul at the first meeting of the Project Board, providing the legal and financial framework allowing the UN and donors to support and strengthen Afghanistan's electoral institutions, including Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC).
"Under Resolution 2344 (2017), the UN Security Council requested UNAMA to support Afghan authorities in the organization of elections, and to strengthen the integrity, sustainability and inclusiveness of the electoral process. Supporting strong and independent electoral management bodies will be a key feature of these efforts in the lead up to elections," the statement read.
"There is a great need for all those concerned to redouble their efforts to implement reforms and conduct the necessary preparations to realize credible elections," Tadamichi Yamamoto, UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, was quoted in the statement as saying.
The statement noted that critical decisions are urgently required for the electoral process to move forward, as is public outreach to build trust in the electoral institutions.
First parliamentary election in the post-Taliban country was held on Sept. 18, 2005 while the second parliamentary polls took place on Sept. 18, 2010.
However, the 2015 parliamentary polls were delayed and the IEC has planned to hold the next parliamentary election on July 7, 2018 for electing members of the 249-seat lower house of parliament for a five-year term.