UNITED NATIONS, September 22 (RIA Novosti) - After an agreement was reached between Afghanistan's two presidential candidates, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offered congratulations and continued UN assistance.
"I congratulate Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the President-elect of Afghanistan. The agreement between the candidates to form a government of national unity and the Independent Election Commission's announcement of the president-elect paves the way for a stable and more prosperous future for the country," Ban said Sunday.
Citing the challenges the new government will face, Ban said "I urge the President-elect, the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and all political actors in Afghanistan to quickly form the government of national unity."
After the June 14 run-off election between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah alleged irregularities in pro-Ghani districts. The two candidates agreed on July 12 to an audit of the ballot. This was completed on September 5.
After this audit of votes involving the UN, Ban on Sunday said that "the audit has demonstrated that millions of Afghan men and women cast valid votes in the June 14 run-off. I emphasize that international support for the audit was provided to enhance the credibility of the electoral process at the request of the candidates. The audit was unprecedented in its scale, depth and scrutiny, as well as conforming to international best practice and Afghan law."
"I reiterate the support for Afghanistan expressed by the international community during the Security Council debate on 18 September. The United Nations remains committed to working closely with the new government of Afghanistan. I congratulate the two parties and their leaders, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, as well as the Afghan people and reiterate the support of the United Nations," Ban concluded.