NLD sets conditions for 2010 Election
The Strait Times
Opposition sets conditions
YANGON- THE party of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi Wednesday set stiff conditions for taking part in elections planned for 2010 by the ruling junta, including the release of the detained icon.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) issued a statement after a two-day meeting in Yangon to decide on its stance ahead of the polls, which critics have derided as a sham intended to entrench the generals’ power.
The statement said that it ‘intends to participate in the elections’ but only if all political prisoners including leaders of the NLD are ‘unconditionally’ released from jail.
Secondly it also demanded changes to a controversial army-backed constitution approved in May 2008 – days after Cyclone Nargis ravaged the country – under which the vote will be held.
The constitution gives the army a major role in any future government.
The third condition set by the NLD was that the elections had to be ‘inclusive, free and fair’ and held under international supervision.
The NLD said it also wanted to be able to study Myanmar’s upcoming party registration act and the law relating to the elections.
The military, which has ruled impoverished Myanmar since 1962, has announced the polls next year under its so-called ‘road map to democracy’.
Diplomats say the junta may be aiming for a date in March 2010.
Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory in 1990 elections but the military never let it take office.
Aung San Suu Kyi, 63, who won the Nobel prize in 1991, has been detained for most of the past two decades, mostly isolated from the outside world, only receiving visits from her doctor and lawyer. — AFP
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