1st round result a key step to transition: Ban
KABUL (Pajhwok): UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the announcement of certified final results from the Afghan presidential elections, marking an important step towards peaceful political transition in the country.
Greeting the Afghan people for the "courage and commitment" they have shown in the election process, he noted the presidential and provincial poll had been a nationwide effort that demonstrated the capacity of Afghanistan to build a hopeful future.
In a statement, the UN chief urged all Afghan men and women to participate in the second round and to continue to shape the future direction of their country. He hoped lessons learnt from the process would be applied to any future ballot to ensure impartiality and transparency.
There was no outright winner in the first round of the vote that went to the runoff stage scheduled for on June 14 between the two candidates who received most votes: Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.
Ban congratulated Abdullah and Ghani on their constructive engagement with the electoral process and their acceptance of the results, encouraging them to continue to respect the electoral process.
"The Afghan people have placed great faith in the candidates, the electoral institutions and the security forces to bring a peaceful political transition to the country. The Secretary-General encourages all parties to honour this trust," he concluded.
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