Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement today (27 April) on the first stage of the presidential elections in Afghanistan:
Despite considerable international scepticism, Afghanistan took an important step forward in the presidential elections with the announcement of the provisional results.
The elections have largely gone off to plan so far: the fact that it was possible to count the votes with hardly any delay is a good sign. The next task is to examine the complaints submitted in the course of the election process in a transparent and credible manner and to organise the next round of the elections in the same fashion.
I have great respect for the courage shown by people in Afghanistan and for their resolve to help determine their country’s future despite the tense security situation.
That is encouraging for the next stage of the election process. The country will only remain united in the difficult transition period following the withdrawal of the international troops if the new president emerges from free elections and is widely accepted by the people.
On 26 April, the Independent Electoral Commission in Afghanistan announced the provisional outcome of the presidential elections. The official result is expected to be made known on 14 May.
Germany has provided 11 million US dollars for the election process through the United Nations. In addition, for many years the German Government has been supporting the independent Afghan organisation Free and Fair Election Forum Afghanistan (FEFA), which commissioned almost 10,000 observers to monitor the recent elections.