Burmese Junta resigns, expected to contest polls as civilians

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Myannamar, April 28 (ANI):The mil;itary Junta in Myannamar, including the Prime Minister, has resigned and is expected to contest general elections to be held this year as civilians.

The Prime Minister, General Thein Sein, and twenty-two other Cabinet Ministers are reported to have given up their uniforms on Monday.

No official reason was given for this move.

Meanwhile, no date has been given for the elections, which will be the country's first in two decades. It is expected to take place in October or November.

The elections will bring into force a new constitution in which a new national legislature will be made up of 330 elected civilians and 110 military representatives.

"They will be wearing suits rather than uniforms, but it's just the first stage in the transition from a military dictatorship to a civilian dictatorship," The Guardian quoted Mark Farmaner, the director of the Burma Campaign UK, a pro-democracy pressure group as saying.

Farmaner said that under the new constitution, real power would reside in a national defence and security council. Parliament would serve as no more than a rubber stamp. The head of the armed forces, General Than Shwe, would remain the most powerful figure in the country and key ministries would remain under military control.

More than 20 new parties have applied to register, but so far only five have been granted permission. Most of those given the green light are close to the ruling regime.

The main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) has said it will not participate because election laws announced in March would require the league to expel its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for having a criminal record. (ANI)

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