Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rebels to combat Burma polls

(Bangkok Post) -The Shan State Army has vowed to fight to oppose the country's general election planned for next year, the group's chief Colonel Yod Serk said on Saturday.

Col Yod Serk said at least 10 out of 17 opposing groups had reached a conclusion to thwart the junta's plans for holding the election because of the regime's lack of transparency and cronyism.

"Even groups who laid down their arms join with us to hinder the voting because the Burmese government lacks transparency and drafts a constitution for its own interest. That's not democratic,'' he said.

He added that the United Wa State Army, known as a close ally of the junta, also opposed the upcoming election.

As long as the power was in the hands of a few military officials and not the people who were still under oppression, Burma faced a dead end for its sought-after democracy, Col Yod Serk said.

"The junta announced the upcoming election, but never let the opposing parties run in the race. What about detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi?,'' he said.

Col Yod Serk said the electorate in Shan state were urged to cast no vote. The state has more than eight million people.

Among them, more than four million are illegible to cast their ballot because they do not have identity documents.

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