The Bush administration says Pakistan's election was a step toward restoring democracy in the key US anti-terror ally. But it is holding off on a definitive assessment until final results are in. The State Department says it is pleased that Monday's vote came off relatively peacefully and without major apparent fraud. The department, however, is not commenting on the losses suffered by President Pervez Musharraf's ruling party, which has conceded defeat. A spokeswoman says a free, fair and transparent vote is critical to the restoration of an elected, civilian democracy that represents the will of the Pakistani people.