Jul 5, 2009

Myanmar leader promises clean election?

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said Saturday that Myanmar top leader Senior-General Than Shwe has promised him the Southeast Asian country will hold a fair and inclusive general election in 2010.

Ban was speaking at a press briefing late Saturday during his stopover at Suvarnabhumi Airport in the Thai capital of Bangkok after concluding a two-day official visit to Myanmar.

During his stay in Myanmar's new capital of Nay Pyi Taw, Ban had two meetings with Than Shwe, who is chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, on Friday and Saturday.

Ban said the meetings covered a broad range of issues including Myanmar's forthcoming general election in 2010 and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).

Ban said Than Shwe told him that Myanmar would continue to follow its seven-step roadmap, released in August 2003, to national reconciliation and democracy.

Than Shwe promised that Myanmar's government would promulgate in time the Election Law, which is being drawn, to fairly enable organization of political parties to participate in the election and make the election inclusive, the UN chief said.

Ban said it was a difficult job for him to convince the Myanmar government to release Aung San Suu Kyi.