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UN Chief Commends Peaceful Elections in CAR

FILE - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended the Central African Republic for successfully holding peaceful presidential elections.

Ban congratulated former prime minister Faustin-Archange Touadera on his victory and called on the leaders of the war-torn country to maintain a "constructive atmosphere."

Touadera, a former math professor, was declared the winner Saturday after sweeping to victory with more than 60 percent of the vote in last week's runoff.

The results of the first round of the parliamentary poll were not announced Saturday, but are expected soon.

The U.N. chief also called for the timely holding of the second round of legislative elections to complete the political transition process.

The U.N. has played a major role in seeking to restore peace in the CAR. Security in the country is still largely provided by 13,000 international peacekeepers, and the administration depends on subsidies from donors. The new president has pledged to rebuild the state, working closely with the international community.

It is hoped the elections will close a particularly turbulent chapter in the country's history.

VOA correspondent Nick Long in Bangui contributed to this report.