United Nations: Congratulating the people of Pakistan on the successful elections, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday applauded the courage and determination of political parties to engage in the electoral process despite the challenging security situation ahead of the voting. "The Secretary-General congratulates the people and government of Pakistan on the successful conduct of national and provincial elections on 11 May 2013," said a UN statement.
"This is the first ever transition from one civilian government to another and a significant step forward for democracy in the country. "By exercising their constitutional right to vote, the people of Pakistan have reaffirmed their desire for and commitment to a democratic Pakistan and their respect for the constitution of the country," the statement said. Ban is pleased to note the significant turnout for the elections, especially the youth and first time voters, who came out in millions to take part, the statement said, adding the Secretary-General also notes the increase in the participation of women, but regrets that in some parts of the country women were deterred from voting.
"The Secretary-General applauds the courage and determination of political parties and election workers to engage in the electoral process despite the challenging security situation ahead of the voting," the statement said. Ban commended the Electoral Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for successfully organising the elections, and he reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support and assist the ECP.