Canada denounces Syria’s decision to hold presidential elections

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Canada denounced Syria’s decision to hold presidential elections amid ongoing human rights abuses and grave violations of international law.

The Global Affairs Canada in a statement said nd fair elections will not be possible until an inclusive constitution is drafted that can form the basis of a credible pathway towards a political settlement or transition, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (UNSCR 2254).

“As is made clear by UNSCR 2254, free and fair elections must allow for UN monitoring and for all Syrians, including refugees and internally displaced persons, to participate, without fear of persecution. They must also encourage the meaningful participation of women and be free from the intimidation tactics we have seen during early diaspora voting,” the statement said.

“Credible elections must allow for genuine political discourse between candidates, whose nominations should be transparent and not at the mercy of the regime in power,” the statement said, adding that “In the absence of any of the above conditions, tomorrow’s elections cannot represent the will of the Syrian people and Canada does not recognize their legitimacy.”

Voters flocked to the polls in government-held parts of Syria on Wednesday to cast their ballots in an election denounced by western nations.

Wednesday’s presidential vote is the second since the beginning of the Syrian conflict a decade ago which left hundreds of thousands of people dead.

Al-Assad won nearly 89 percent of the vote during the presidential elections in 2014.

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