UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday extended his congratulations to Sierra Leone's incumbent president, Ernest Bai Koroma, the people and institutions of the West African country on "the successful and peaceful elections" held on Nov. 17.
The secretary-general, in a statement issued here by his spokesman, said that the elections "clearly demonstrated the people's strong commitment to consolidating democracy and development."
"The secretary-general emphasizes the importance of all Sierra Leoneans working together in the period ahead," the statement said. "In that regard, the secretary-general welcomes President Koroma' s pledge to reach out to all Sierra Leoneans and to promote national reconciliation and unity."
Koroma has won a second term with 58.7 percent of the vote, and opposition leader Julius Maada Bio came in second with 37.4 percent, according to results published on Friday by the nation's National Electoral Commission. Koroma was elected president in 2007.
"At this time, the secretary-general stresses the responsibility of Sierra Leone's political leaders for maintaining the atmosphere of calm that has prevailed so far during the election process," the statement said. "He urges all sides to address any outstanding grievances peacefully and through established national mechanisms and institutions."
"The secretary-general is confident that the strong partnership between the United Nations and Sierra Leone will continue in the best interest of the people of Sierra Leone," said the statement.