Myanmar’s Premier Outlines Way to Democracy

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Associated Press

Published — Sunday 31 August 2003

Last Update 31 August 2003 3:00 am

YANGON, 31 August 2003 — Myanmar’s military government will resume long-suspended work on drafting a new constitution to pave the way for an elected government, the country’s new prime minister said yesterday.

But Gen. Khin Nyunt gave no timetable for the process, and didn’t say whether detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi or her party would be allowed to take part in the drafting or any future government. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won a national election more than a decade ago in Myanmar but the junta refused to yield power.

Speaking to government and military leaders at the Parliament building, Khin Nyunt said a body called the National Convention would restart its constitution drafting work, which was suspended in March 1996. He said a referendum would then be held on the draft constitution and, if approved, the new basic law would form the basis for a “free and fair” parliamentary election. A new government would follow. “That is Myanmar’s road map,” Khin Nyunt said, saying the plan would lead to “a modern, developed democratic country.”

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