Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today encouraged all Malians to cast their ballots in Sunday's presidential election, a vital step to restoring constitutional order in the crisis-hit country, and to ensure that the polls are free and fair.
"The Secretary-General reiterates his call for a peaceful, credible and transparent process in line with the aspirations of the Malian people. He calls on all concerned to ensure that the electoral process takes place in an orderly manner," Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.
"The Secretary-General notes the importance of this election for the restoration of constitutional order and national dialogue and reconciliation in Mali," the statement added.
The 28 July election will be an important step on the path to recovery for the West African nation that, over the course of last year, witnessed a military coup d'état, renewed fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of the northern part of the country by radical Islamists.
Mr. Ban reaffirmed the UN's continued support for the Malian peace and stabilization process. The world body is providing support through its Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which became operational earlier this month.
He also cited the need to ensure that any post-election disputes are resolved through peaceful and legal means.