Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Britain brands Myanmar elections unfair

LONDON - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office said Tuesday there was "no prospect" of Myanmar's first elections in two decades being "free, fair or inclusive".

Brown said the country's military rulers had "squandered" the opportunity for national reconciliation, and called for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to be allowed to participate.

The National League For Democracy said Monday it would boycott polls expected later this year, after the country's military rulers introduced a controversial new election law.

Aung San Suu Kyi's party decided to refuse to register for the elections, a move that would have forced it to oust its detained leader and recognise the military's constitution in the country formerly known as Burma.

"Sadly, the Burmese regime has squandered the opportunity for national reconciliation," Brown said. "Aung San Suu Kyi must be allowed to take her rightful place at the heart of Burmese politics."

His spokesman added: "Regrettably, recent announcements mean there is no prospect of (the elections) being free, fair or inclusive."

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