Upcoming polls must be inclusive, Ban tells Myanmar's leader

30 October 2010

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday urged that the upcoming elections in Myanmar be as inclusive, participatory and transparent as possible to ensure a credible transition to a civilian democratic government, as he met with the country's Prime Minister, Thein Sein.

The elections, scheduled for 7 November, will be the first in the country in two decades.

During the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the summit between the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Hanoi, Viet Nam, Mr. Ban reiterated his call for the release of political prisoners and for the lifting of restrictions on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, according to the Secretary-General's spokesperson.

Ms. Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and head of the National League for Democracy (NLD), has been under house arrest for much of the past two decades.

The Secretary-General also reaffirmed the UN's long-term commitment to work in partnership with the Government and people of Myanmar in their efforts to build a stable, democratic and prosperous future.

In his speech to the summit yesterday, Mr. Ban told the gathered heads of State and government that they have a significant stake in seeing Myanmar turn the elections into “an opportunity for peace, democracy and prosperity.”


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Myanmar: top UN officials call for credible democratic transition

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today repeated his call for a credible democratic transition in Myanmar, with the United Nations human rights chief stating that, eight days before scheduled elections, conditions in the country do not meet international standards for free and fair polls.