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No Burma Vote Before Next Year, Officials Say

From Reuters

Burma will not be ready to hold general elections, promised by its military rulers, until next year, the military government announced Friday.

Aung San Suu Kyi, secretary of the major opposition National League for Democracy, said the election commission in Rangoon briefed officials from 18 parties formed since the army seized power last month.

“The commission said it would finish its work by about January. They will call all the parties together later and would consult them as to when they would like elections to be held,” she said in a telephone interview.

The army, controlled by the old guard that set up Burma’s one-party socialist state 26 years ago, moved on Sept. 18 to crush months of mass protests against falling living standards and police repression.

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The army promised free elections as soon as it restored order. But party leaders say post-coup restrictions, including an overnight curfew, searches, detentions and a ban on gatherings, make normal political work in Burma impossible now.


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