Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NLD Meets on 2010 Election

The Irrawaddy News

RANGOON (AP)— Burma's military government tightened security as the country's pro-democracy party of detained Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi gathered Tuesday to discuss political issues including next year's planned election.

Attendees will consider proposals for the 2010 elections, but might not decide about whether to take part, party spokesman Nyan Win said.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy maintains that the polling will take place under a constitution aimed at ensuring the military's domination of politics. The document also has clauses that bar Suu Kyi from office.

The party has repeatedly urged the government to review the military-backed constitution, saying it was "approved by force" in a referendum last year.

About 100 party members from various parts of the country registered at the party headquarters Monday to attend the two-day meeting, Nyan Win said. They include elected candidates of the last general election in 1990 whose results were annulled by the military.

"We will discuss party organizational activities, prevailing political conditions, and the constitution. We will also discuss and exchange views on the elections," Nyan Win said.

Police were deployed near party headquarters Monday while dozens of plainclothes policemen watched the building from across the street and a convoy of four to seven trucks carrying anti-riot police cruised the city.

Burma's military, which has held power since 1962, tolerates little dissent. The current junta came to power in 1988 after crushing a nationwide pro-democracy uprising and has stepped up its campaign against opposition politicians and activists ahead of next year's polls.

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