Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:
"Canada is deeply disappointed that the rescheduled first round of presidential elections was delayed. The elections commission was not permitted to fulfill its constitutional mandate of managing and conducting these elections without interference.
"We convey our continued support for the perseverance of the Elections Commission of Maldives under these unacceptable circumstances.
"International election observers, including from the Commonwealth, agreed that the September 7, 2013, electionóthe results of which were annulledówas free and fair. I repeat yet again that this series of delays flies in the face of the democratic values of the Commonwealth.
"Canada calls on all parties in Maldives to exercise restraint and remain calm in the interest of the Maldivian people, who should be permitted to express their democratic will through the ballot box. The people of Maldives deserve to have their voices heard.
"A new date for the election must be set without delay and upheld by all parties concerned. The elections commission must be permitted to organize free, fair and inclusive elections without interference.
"Canada continues its call for robust Commonwealth engagement so that the electoral process can move forward and democracy can be strengthened in Maldives. The reputation of the Commonwealth is at stake.
"We have and will continue to speak out in favour of democratic values and human rights until the will of the Maldivian people has been recognized through a free and fair vote."
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