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Baird on Maldives: Election Delays Are Undermining Democracy

November 11, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement regarding the latest postponement of presidential elections in the Maldives:

“Canada congratulates the people of the Maldives for once again exercising their fundamental democratic right to vote in a peaceful and orderly manner. All observers agree that the Elections Commission delivered another well-managed and credible election.

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s disappointing decision to again delay the runoff undermines both the Maldives’ constitution and the people’s faith in elections.

“The term of the current government has now expired without a newly elected government to replace it. This is the case despite two free and fair elections over the last two months.

“In these circumstances, Canada shares the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Envoy’s dismay that Mohammed Waheed Hassan, who received 5 percent of the vote in the September 7, 2013, election, has decided to continue as president.

“There are now serious questions surrounding the legitimacy of the interim incumbent government. The international community is watching developments closely. It is critical for this young democracy that authorities do not halt the next runoff on November 16, 2013.”

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