UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon and the 15-member Security Council congratulated the people of Afghanistan for casting their vote despite a Taliban threat, in a presidential election held under an "extremely challenging" environment.
<b1>The UN Security Council in a statement welcomed the holding of the elections and said it looks forward to working with the new Afghan government to help them deliver good governance, security, and justice, strengthen rule of law, and enhance economic opportunity for all Afghans.
Meanwhile, Ban commended the Independent Election Commission and all other Afghan institutions and international stakeholders supporting the electoral process for organising the elections in an "extremely challenging" environment.
"By exercising their constitutional right to vote, the Afghan people have demonstrated again their desire for stability and development in their country," said the spokesperson of the UN Secretary General.
Some 17 million voters were registered to take part in the August 20 presidential and provincial elections, the first to be organised by the Afghan Independent Election Commission.
Some 41 presidential candidates, including two women, were in the fray for the presidential elections while more than 3,000 were contesting for provincial council seats.