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Myanmar: upcoming referendum must be inclusive, transparent – Ban Ki-moon

Myanmar: upcoming referendum must be inclusive, transparent – Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Reacting to Myanmar’s announcement of a constitutional referendum to be held this May, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on authorities to ensure that the process represents the views of all of the South-East Asian nation’s people.

The Government also announced that the upcoming referendum will be followed by “multi-party democratic elections” in 2010, marking the first establishment of a timeframe for Myanmar to implement its “political roadmap process.”

Mr. Ban “renews his call to the Myanmar authorities to make the constitution-making process inclusive, participatory and transparent in order to ensure that any draft constitution is broadly representative of the views of all the people of Myanmar,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

The statement stresses that the Government must begin a “substantive and time-bound” dialogue with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other parties relevant to the national reconciliation process.

Given the announcement of the referendum and elections, the Secretary-General underscored that it is crucial that his Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari be able to visit Myanmar “without further delay.”

Mr. Gambari plans to travel to the region shortly, his office said. He is scheduled to visit Beijing from 18-19 February, as well as Jakarta and Singapore.