A profound political transition is also underway that will shape Afghanistan for decades to come.
2014 is a crucial year for Afghanistan. The security transition will be complete by the end of the year, and a profound political transition is also underway that will shape Afghanistan for decades to come.
On April 5th, men and women across Afghanistan voted in presidential and provincial council elections. As Secretary of State John Kerry stated, the April 5th vote demonstrated how committed the Afghan people are to protecting and advancing their democracy.
Election Day was a triumph for the Afghan people. Millions of Afghan men and women participated in the elections despite the Taliban violence directed at disrupting Afghanistan’s democratic process. With great preparation and dedication, the Afghan National Security Forces provided the security that allowed these elections to take place. As the EU Observation Assessment Team stated, “We don’t know who has won, but we know the Taliban have lost.”
These elections are critical to securing Afghanistan’s democratic future, as well as continued international support. The U.S. government looks to Afghan electoral bodies to carry out their duties in coming weeks to tally votes, adjudicate complaints, and finalize the results. At this time we must give the Afghan electoral bodies the time they need to do their work in processing the outcome of these elections.
As President Barack Obama said in a written statement on election day, “On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the millions of Afghans who enthusiastically participated in today’s historic elections, which may usher in the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan’s history and which represent another important milestone in Afghans taking full responsibility for their country as the United States and our partners draw down our forces.”
“The United States continues to support a sovereign, stable, unified, and democratic Afghanistan, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the new government chosen by the Afghan people on the basis of mutual respect and mutual accountability.”