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EU Launches Observer Mission For Afghan Vote


http://gdb.rferl.org/39803BDB-5C3B-4EA6-9B02-003EA85D3D62_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/39803BDB-5C3B-4EA6-9B02-003EA85D3D62_mw800_mh600.jpg Mohammad Yunos Qanuni, who came in a distant second in last year's presidential vote, is now leader of the 12-party National Understanding Front 26 July 2005 -- The European Union today launched a 100-member election support mission to monitor Afghanistan's upcoming parliamentary and provincial council polls.

Former European Commissioner Emma Bonino, who will lead the mission, said staff will be deployed as widely across the country as security will allow to observe the 18 September elections.

Speaking in the Afghan capital Kabul, Bonino said Brussels considers these polls as "crucial" in the establishment of a functioning institutional system based on the rule of law in Afghanistan.

The mission is four times the size of the EU delegation sent to Afghanistan for the October 2004 presidential election, in which Hamid Karzai defeated second-place finisher Mohammad Yunos Qanuni and a handful of other candidates.

(AFP/Reuters)

See also:

"Afghanistan: Voters Intent On Registering, Despite Fears Of Violence"

"Afghanistan: Preliminary List Of Parliamentary Candidates Published"

Afghanistan: Battle Linked To Elections, New Taliban Tactics"

"Surge In Violence Raises Concerns Ahead Of Afghan Elections"
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