The Sept. 16 editorial "Afghanistan Votes" described me as "one of those who condemned the U.S. intervention against the Taliban, which . . . would 'all but doom' millions of Afghans 'to death.' "

In fact, during a debate at the European Parliament in October 2001, I said, "This is the time to make hard choices, this is the time in history in which we have to take sides.

"And we cannot side with religious fanatics or dictators . . . but with democracies that, with their all their failings and imperfections, have the power to protect human rights in the world."

And concerning the Sept. 15 Financial Times article, "EU Observer Attacks Big Flaws in Afghan Poll," which was quoted in The Post's editorial: I was taken aback by the misrepresentation of my views in that story. While I did raise some of the concerns reported, a number of positive points I made about the elections in Afghanistan were left out and the headline did not reflect my overall views.

My comprehensive assessment of the election process up to Election Day -- that I consider it generally well-administered despite shortcomings and challenges ahead -- is contained in the Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions of the European Union Election Observation Mission, issued Sept. 19, the day after the elections, and can be found at


Chief Observer

European Union

Election Observation Mission to Afghanistan