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Foreign minister Urmas Paet: today's presidential election is a gauge for Afghanistan's further development


Foreign minister Urmas Paet stated that the first round of presidential elections and local government elections held in Afghanistan today are a gauge of the country's further development. "We will support Afghanistan throughout its election process," the foreign minister emphasized. "It is important that the elections are free and fair, and the participation rate as great as possible," he added.

In today's elections, Afghans are able to choose from among eight presidential candidates. Whoever receives more than 50% of the vote will be sworn in as president. If no one is able to garner that many votes, a second round of voting will be held between the two most successful candidates. Hamid Karzai, who has been president since 2001, will not participate in the election, since he has been in office for the maximum two terms as defined by the Constitution.

According to foreign minister Paet, it is essential that the elections are conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner, in order to guarantee continued broad-based support from the international community following the end of the NATO-led ISAF mission in 2014. Estonia is also prepared to continue to contribute to the development of Afghanistan.

The ISAF mission in Afghanistan is to be followed by the training of Afghanistan's security forces and a support mission.

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