1 December 2010Welcoming the completion of the final certification of the results of Afghanistan’s parliamentary polls, the United Nations said today it looks forward to the prompt inauguration of this crucial body. Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced today the completion of the final certification of the results of the 18 September elections for the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of parliament. “We look forward to the prompt inauguration of the Wolesi Jirga, as an important further step in Afghanistan’s strengthening of its democratic governance,” Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, said in a statement issued in Kabul.Some 2,500 candidates – including nearly 400 women – vied for the parliament’s 249 seats covering all 34 Afghan provinces, plus the Kuchi constituency.Mr. de Mistura, the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), commended the country’s independent electoral authorities, the IEC and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) for their committed work in conducting the elections and completing the process in “extremely challenging” circumstances. “While we have noted that there were significant instances of irregularity and fraud, the IEC and ECC demonstrated their commitment to address these problems in accordance with the electoral law and the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” he added.