UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday welcomed the peaceful holding of Madagascar's presidential election, calling on all parties in the country to maintain the atmosphere of peace.
"The secretary-general commends the people of Madagascar, the Electoral Commission and the Malagasy government for their active contribution and participation in the holding of today's presidential and legislative elections," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesperson.
He urged the Malagasy people, the transitional authorities and all political actors to continue to maintain the peaceful atmosphere during the vote counting and subsequent announcement of the results.
"The United Nations remains committed to supporting the successful conclusion of the Malagasy transition," Ban said.
The UN chief also stressed the will of the people of Madagascar must be respected.
Madagascar was plunged into a political crisis in late 2008. In March 2009, Andry Rajoelina replaced Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military. The takeover was seen as a coup by the international community.
Friday's runoff of the presidential and legislative elections in Madagascar put an end to a crisis that had gripped the nation for nearly five years. The southern African bloc SADC (Southern African Development Community) designed a roadmap for the elections to restore democracy and constitutional rule in the country.