Canada Concerned by the Deteriorating Electoral Climate in Guinea

(No. 305 – September 18, 2010 – 3:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding the deteriorating political atmosphere in Guinea following the postponement of the country’s second round of its presidential elections:

“Canada regrets the deteriorating political climate that has prevailed in Guinea over the last few weeks, particularly the violent confrontations in Conakry on September 11. We ask that political leaders fulfil their commitments to run peaceful and mutually respectful election campaigns and that they urge their supporters and fellow Guineans to exercise restraint and refrain from inciting violence and hatred. Provocative actions risk compromising the significant progress achieved by Guinea in its transition to date, notably during the first round of this historic election.

“Canada urges the Independent National Electoral Commission to set a new date for this election as soon as possible and ensure that the new date is respected. We call upon all those involved in Guinea’s political process to respect and support the Commission’s mandate and independence.

“We urge all Guineans to exercise patience and perseverance pending the second ballot. The peaceful conduct of the second ballot will be a historic victory for Guinea. Should the election process or results be contested, we would urge the various parties to seek recourse exclusively through legal channels.

“Canada reaffirms its support for the efforts of the chairman of the transition, General Sékouba Konaté, to ensure that the election process concludes transparently and peacefully. Canada also reiterates its support for the strong engagement by African countries in Guinea’s transition, particularly the Economic Community of West African States, the president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, and the African Union. As a member of the International Contact Group on Guinea, Canada will continue to closely monitor developments in that country.”

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