UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday
congratulated Iraq for holding provincial elections that were transparent,
credible and free of violence, dpa reported.
The elections on Saturday "strengthened Iraq's democracy and further the cause of national reconciliation," Ban said in a statement.
"The secretary general lauds the efforts of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) for organizing these elections as planned, and commends the professionalism and commitment of the staff involved at each step of the process," the statement said. The commission was assisted by the UN mission in Iraq.
The elections were monitored by more than 500,000 national observers and political parties' agents. International monitors were also on hand to lend credence to the process, the statement said.