(No. 136 – April 19, 2010 – 6:55 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the elections held in Sudan from April 11 to 15, 2010, praising Sudanese citizens’ commitment to democracy, but expressing Canada’s concerns about flaws in the electoral process:
“Canada congratulates the people of Sudan on participating in their country’s first multi-party elections since 1986. Millions of Sudanese citizens voted, many for the first time, demonstrating their desire for democratic transformation and hope for a better future.
“Although the elections were relatively peaceful, Canada is concerned about serious flaws throughout the process. We note several reports of structural advantages enjoyed by the governing parties in both the North and the South, as well as of intimidation, limitations on political freedom and major problems in logistics and management of the elections. Canada calls on all parties to work together peacefully and in good faith to address concerns over the elections and offer Sudanese citizens an inclusive and responsible government.
“Canada supports the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), of which elections were an essential component. Sudan must remain on track toward the implementation of the remaining provisions of the CPA, including transparent and credible referendum processes in January 2011. We also call on all parties to the Darfur conflict to redouble their efforts to achieve a peace agreement through the talks in Doha, Qatar.
“Canada remains committed to promoting sustainable peace in Sudan. In light of these objectives, Canada has contributed $760 million in Sudan since 2006 and is engaging actively in the Darfur peace process and discussions on the post-referendum future of Sudan.”
For more information on Canada’s engagement in Sudan, please consult Canada: Active in Sudan.
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