No: 195, 21 October 2009, Press Release Regarding the Second Round of the Presidential Elections in Afghanistan

The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan has announced that the second round of the Presidential elections will take place on 7 November 2009. We hope that this decision will be to the benefit of the Afghani people.

Thanks to the courage and determination of the Afghani people, Presidential and Provincial Council elections were held on 20 August 2009 in spite of difficult conditions. Each election experience undoubtedly constitutes a step in strengthening democracy. Turkey monitored the first round of the elections by a delegation of observers and is pleased that the ensuing process took place peacefully and within the national legal framework. We will favorably consider sending another group of observers for the second round should the Afghan authorities so request.

We expect that the second and final round of the elections will be realized in a peaceful environment and in a fair and transparent manner with broadest possible participation. It is of great importance for Afghanistan to refocus on national unity and reconstruction efforts as soon as possible.

Turkey is confident that Afghanistan will successfully conclude the election process and that the country’s stability as well as its social and political harmony will thus grow stronger. Turkey will always stand by the friendly and brotherly Afghani people and fully trust that they will surmount the difficulties confronting them in unity and solidarity.