Norway increases its support for elections in Afghanistan

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On 5 April, Afghanistan will elect a new president. Norway is providing NOK 102 million in funding for the planning and implementation of the presidential election and next year’s parliamentary elections. The funding is being channelled through the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

On 5 April, Afghanistan will elect a new president. Norway is providing NOK 102 million in funding for the planning and implementation of the presidential election and next year’s parliamentary elections. The funding is being channelled through the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

“The holding of democratic elections is one of the most important elements in building a stable Afghanistan for the future,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The presidential election in April will pave the way for the first democratic transfer of power from one president to another in Afghanistan’s history.

“The year 2014 will be vitally important for Afghanistan. It is crucial for Afghanistan’s democratic development that the election proceeds as it should and is seen to be legitimate. Good governance is a priority area for Norwegian development assistance to Afghanistan,” said Mr Brende.

The NATO-led ISAF mission will end this year, and for the first time since 2001, Afghans themselves have full responsibility for carrying out the election, with the international community taking on a support role.

The objective of Norway’s support for the UNDP-ELECT II project is to enable the Afghan electoral institutions to plan and conduct elections with little or no international assistance in the long term.

“There are strong indications that the Afghan authorities are better prepared now than they were prior to and during the elections in 2009 and 2010. Having said that, it is unrealistic to expect this year’s election to be problem-free. The security situation is complex. We cannot expect all the polling stations to be open or all voters to be able to exercise their right to vote. But we are confident that it will be possible to carry out an election that is seen as acceptable,” said Mr Brende.

Norway provided NOK 85 million in support for the elections in 2009 and 2010.