UN Welcomes Agreement on Inauguration of Afghan Parliament

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–25 January 2011 – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today welcomed the understanding reached between the country’s President and parliamentarians to hold the inauguration of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The Mission “commends the spirit of cooperation between the Presidential Office and the recently elected members of Parliament. This paves the way for the Parliament to convene, in the presence of the President, and resume its important functions in the democratic governance of Afghanistan,” according to a statement issued in the capital, Kabul.

“This process has revealed that a healthy debate is underway amongst Afghanistan’s democratic institutions, an encouraging sign of a progressing democracy,” the Mission added.

Last week UNAMA and other concerned members of the international community had expressed “deep concern and surprise” at the President’s call to delay the inauguration until 22 February to allow a special tribunal of the Supreme Court to decide whether some disputed winners should be thrown out.

The Mission said today that it will attend the 26 January inauguration, which comes four months after the 18 September elections for the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of parliament.

Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, has stated that the formation of a new parliament will be a major step on the country’s path to improving its democratic governance and the capacity of Afghan institutions to deliver services to the Afghan people.