UN chief slams Myanmar vote

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called the Myanmar election "insufficiently" transparent and made a new call for the junta to release political prisoners.

Last Updated: Nov 09, 2010, 00:08 AM IST

United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon on Monday called the Myanmar election "insufficiently"
transparent and made a new call for the junta to release
political prisoners.

Ban also expressed concern about reported clashes
between government troops and ethnic rebels since yesterday`s
vote "and urges all sides to refrain from any action that
could raise tensions further or create instability at this
sensitive time," his spokesman said in a statement.

The UN leader, who has frequently expressed
frustration at the attitude of Myanmar`s ruling generals,
believes "the voting was held in conditions that were
insufficiently inclusive, participatory and transparent," said
the statement.

Yesterday`s vote has been condemned by much of the
international community and Myanmar`s opposition as a sham.

Pro-junta parties are widely expected to take most seats in
the new assembly and Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize
winning opposition leaders was banned from taking part.

"Consistent with their commitments, the authorities
must demonstrate that the ballot is part of a credible
transition towards democratic government, national
reconciliation and respect for human rights," said the UN
chief`s statement.

Ban "urges the Myanmar authorities to release all
remaining political prisoners and lift restrictions on Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi without further delay so that they can freely
participate in the political life of their country.

"He also urges the Myanmar authorities to ensure that
the process of forming new institutions of government is as
broad-based and inclusive as possible."

Ban said: "The international community will look to
the Myanmar authorities to provide greater assurances that the
current process marks a genuine departure from the status
quo."

The United Nations warned the junta before the
election that it would not be seen as credible if Aung San Suu
Kyi and other opponents remained in jail.

PTI