Myanmar rejects UN suggestion for reviewing draft constitution

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Bangkok, Mar 8 (UNI) Myanmar's military rulers have rejected United Nations suggestion that the government review the state-supervised draft constitution that bars detained pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi from contesting national elections to be held in 2010.

The visiting UN Myanmar mediator Ibrahim Gambari was told by his official interlocutors that it was not possible to amend the draft national constitution that is to be put to a national referendum in May this year.

Mr Gambari, the UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on Myanmar reached Yangon on March 6 on his third visit to the country since the September 2007 repression of peaceful anti-government street protests in Yangon in which a number of people were killed.

According to Myanmar state television, Information Minister, Brigadier General Kyaw Hsan told Mr Gambari yesterday that the constitution had been drafted by a body representative of all sections of Myanmar society.

The draft charter bars nationals with foreign spouses from contesting the multi-party elections two years away. Ms Suu Kyi's late husband was a British national.

The constitution was finalised after 14 years of deliberation by a national body that was largely hand picked by the government.

Criticism and public discussion of the referendum and draft constitution have been declared illegal.

Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won a clear majority in the last parliamentary elections 18 years ago but was prevented from taking office by the military which has held the levers of power in the country for over four decades.


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