Canada will send two election observers to Myanmar to monitor the April 1 elections in Myanmar, Foreign Minister John Baird said Wednesday, with expectations the vote would be "free and fair."
The vote sees Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi stand for a parliament seat for the first time, and comes a year after a quasi-civilian government took power following an end to decades of military rule.
"These by-elections are the latest tests of commitments made by Burmese authorities to real reforms. Canada and the world are watching," Baird said, adding they wwere visting with an invitation from Myanmar, also known as Burma.
"We expect these elections to be free and fair. We will base future actions on whether we see progress in developing a more open, just and prosperous society," he added.
Myanmar did not allow foreign observers to monitor its 2010 elections, which swept the army's political allies to power amid widespread complaints of cheating and intimidation.
But since taking office a year ago, President Thein Sein has surprised even some critics by carrying out reforms including signing ceasefire deals with ethnic minority rebels and releasing hundreds of political prisoners.
Source: AFP American Edition