(No. 61 – February 9, 2010 – 5:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement congratulating the people of Ukraine on their presidential election:
"We commend the people of Ukraine, who exercised their fundamental democratic right to vote in a peaceful and orderly manner. This election demonstrates that Ukraine is on its path toward a sustainable democracy, a path set during the Orange Revolution five years ago.
"Canada welcomes the fact that these elections were deemed free and fair by independent election observer missions. These included one from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and one from CANADEM, which was funded by the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency.
"However, it is important to note that the Central Election Commission of Ukraine has still to confirm the final result, and the preliminary tallies are very close. Canada urges all political participants to exercise restraint and to allow the post-election process to proceed in a peaceful, transparent and orderly manner.
"Canada has a long and proud history of providing election observers to ensure that elections are consistent with international democratic standards, and our government is particularly pleased to have contributed more than 270 Canadian observers to Ukraine's presidential elections.
"Canada has a special and close relationship with Ukraine, a key European partner that plays an important role in the democratic development and regional security of Eastern Europe. Canada is committed to supporting Ukraine's democratic development.
"Canada looks forward to the official announcement of the election's final result."
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