UN chief praises Mali vote

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised Mali for the "successful conduct" of Presidential Elections.

New York: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised Mali on Thursday for the "successful conduct" of Presidential Elections and said the world body remained committed to helping it regain stability.

Ban congratulated Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on his election and commended the loser, Soumaila Cisse, for his "commitment to democratic values," the UN chief`s spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

Cisse quickly conceded defeat in Sunday`s second round ballot and said he would not challenge the result of the vote.

"The secretary general reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to accompany Mali in the next phase of its stabilisation and peace consolidation process, including by supporting inclusive dialogue and reconciliation and the conduct of the national legislative elections."

"The United Nations also stands ready to support the re-establishment of state authority in the north of Mali, the protection of human rights and the implementation of key reforms that will lay the foundation for sustainable peace, stability and development to the benefit of all the Malian people," Nesirky said.

Official results, which must be confirmed by Mali`s constitutional court, showed Keita winning by a landslide with 77.6 percent of the votes against 22.3 percent for Cisse.