Statement by Minister Cannon on Upcoming Ethiopian Elections

(No. 172 - May 21, 2010 - 5 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding Ethiopia’s national elections for federal and regional parliaments, which will take place on Sunday, May 23, 2010:

“Canada is closely following Ethiopia’s national elections. Canada continues to encourage the Government of Ethiopia to pursue its path toward free, fair and credible elections.

“We have concerns about the electoral environment leading up to the elections, which has hampered the ability of all political parties to participate in a full and unfettered manner and has resulted in complaints of election-related incidents and irregularities made to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia and the Joint Council of Political Parties by opposition parties and the ruling coalition.

“Canada continues to urge the Government of Ethiopia to release imprisoned opposition party members, including Birtukan Mideksa.

“Five Canadians are participating in the European Union Election Observation Mission. We await the assessment of this mission with interest.

“Canada conveys its hope for peaceful elections.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada