New York, NY (BBN)- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warmly congratulated Pushpa Kamal Dahal – who goes by the name Prachanda – on his election as Nepal’s first Prime Minister since the South Asian nation abolished the monarchy and declared itself a republic.

“He calls on all parties to cooperate with the new Government in order to carry forward Nepal’s peace process,” according to a statement, issued on Friday.

The country – which in 2006 emerged from a decade-long civil war between Government and Maoist forces claiming 13,000 lives – abolished its 240-year-old monarchy in May and is now the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

Prachanda, who is chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), was elected by the Constituent Assembly, which also elected the country’s first President, Ram Baran Yadav, last month.

The United Nations chief has characterized the April polls for the Constituent Assembly as historic, but warned in a report in May that those elections are “only a milestone in the peace process,” noting that “the real work of addressing the nation’s deeper socio-economic difficulties and drafting a constitution that reflects the will of the entire nation only begins now.”

BBN/SI/SI/AD-17August08-10:47 AM