Washington: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres today welcomed the holding of the two-phased state and federal elections in Nepal and congratulated the people for the peaceful conduct of the polls.
"He (Guterres) hopes that all parties will maintain the same spirit in the next stages of the electoral process," said St phane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General.
These elections mark a historic moment for Nepal in implementing its federal structure as enshrined in the 2015 Constitution, Guterres said.
The Secretary General encourages the government, political parties and civil society leaders to continue their efforts towards furthering inclusive and representative governance, the spokesperson said, adding that the United Nations stands ready to support such efforts.
The election in Nepal is being seen as the final step in country's transition to a federal democracy following a decade-long civil war till 2006 that claimed more than 16,000 lives.
In 2015, when Nepal adopted a new Constitution that split it into seven states, dozens of people were killed in ethnic clashes over territory and rights.
Following the adoption of the new Constitution, the ethnic Madhesi group, mostly of Indian-origin, protested for months, saying they were not getting enough territory in one of the provinces and were also facing discrimination.
The polls are seen as a major step towards implementing the new Constitution.