HL Deb 27 October 2003 vol 654 c8WA
The Earl of Sandwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How they will ensure that electoral registration in Afghanistan proceeds in time for the national elections next summer and will be adequately supported by trained police officers and staff. [HL4828]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

Voter registration in Afghanistan is the responsibility of the Interim Electoral Commission and the Joint Electoral Management Body appointed by President Karzai on 26 July, working in conjunction with the UN Assistant Mission to Afghanistan. The UK was one of the first donors to contribute towards the UN's appeal for funds to support voter registration. So far we have committed £3 million. We shall continue to monitor progress with other doners, and will work with them on meeting the UN's current estimated budget shortfall of 53 million US dollars (£32.5 million) for registration.

Security is essential for preparations for the elections outside Kabul. As part of our wider £53 million commitment towards security sector reform, the UK is contributing trainers and specialist advisers to German-led efforts to build up a new Afghan national police force. Although this contribution is not directly connected to elections, the Ministry for the Interior intends to provide police to support the electoral process throughout Afghanistan.

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