Every vote counts, and every single one is a vote for democracy. Afghans, young and old, have clearly shown their determination to have a say in the future of their country and their commitment to a future based on the fundamental principle of democracy.
I commend the fact that elections have taken place on schedule, with a vibrant political debate among the candidates, the public, and in the media. I expect the election process to continue in a transparent and inclusive way, and conclude in an outcome that is acceptable to the Afghan people. It is important that any allegation of electoral irregularities should be addressed through the established institutional mechanisms.
The Afghan people can be proud of their security forces, who have done an outstanding job in securing the elections. For the first time, they have led all security operations, with only minimal logistic support from ISAF. This has truly been an election led by Afghans, secured by Afghans, for the future of Afghans.