Myanmar opposition groups reject proposed constitutional referendum

[JURIST] Two opposition groups in Myanmar, the 88 Generation Students [Asia Times backgrounder] and the National League for Democracy (NLD) [Wikipedia backgrounder], on Monday urged citizens to reject a proposed constitutional referendum put forth by Myanmar's military government. In a statement to Reuters, the 88 Generation Students called the proposal a "sham" to legalize military rule. Last Saturday, the military government announced in a television broadcast that it will hold a constitutional referendum in May [JURIST report], and promised that multi-party elections will follow in 2010. The military government has not published a draft of the proposed constitution.

Myanmar has been governed without a constitution since the military regime took power in 1988. Talks on a new national charter [JURIST report] have been underway for 14 years. In December 2007, the military government said that the new constitution would be drafted solely by a 54-member constitution-drafting commission [JURIST report], rejecting UN calls for the country's constitution-drafting process to be opened to outside groups. Reuters has more.

 

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