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UN chief's call over poll results

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on rival parties in Ivory Coast to accept results from the West African nation's first election since civil war split the cocoa-producing country in half nearly a decade ago.

Electoral workers began counting ballots shortly after polls closed on Sunday, and blamed logistic problems and heavy rains for delaying the release of an initial, preliminary tally.

He appealed to all candidates to play their part in maintaining a calm environment, his spokesperson said in a statement.

The UN chief also "urges them to accept the proclaimed and certified results, filing any complaints through the legally established mechanisms".

The vote is seen as a critical turning point in Ivory Coast's history.

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