Canada Expresses Concern Over Tensions in Maldives

July 27, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada is deeply concerned with the ongoing political tensions in Maldives. I call upon all sides to this dispute to demonstrate restraint and restore calm.

“It is clear that the arrests of senior officials of the Nasheed government are politically motivated. Such actions are completely unacceptable and must be reversed.

“The threats of the present government to arrest its opponents, including former President Nasheed—the only democratically elected president in the last four decades—so as to prevent his candidacy, undermine that government’s credibility and violate its undertakings to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. They also fly in the face of the core Commonwealth values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

“Maldives has been given the benefit of the doubt by the Commonwealth so far. Continued intimidation, illegal arrests and other authoritarian tactics by the present government may require the Commonwealth to consider a different approach, in our view.

“This is further evidence of the need for early elections, as Canada has repeatedly urged. These disputes must be settled, and the will of the people must be heard.

“In order to safeguard the important democratic progress made in recent years, an inclusive political solution is critical to the future of Maldives.

“Canada will continue to work with the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to push for greater respect for democratic values.”

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