Britain says Myanmar elections will lack legitimacy
Britain said Myanmar's elections, set Friday for November 7, were designed to keep the military junta in power and would lack all credibility on the international stage.
The former colonial power said unless Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is allowed to participate, the first elections in two decades would not be legitimate.
"These elections are set to be held under deeply oppressive conditions designed to perpetuate military rule," said Jeremy Browne, the Foreign Office minister with responsibility for southeast Asia.
"The Burmese people should have a real chance to vote for change. Instead, the first opportunity in 20 years for Burma's people to have a more open, stable and prosperous society has been missed," he said in a statement.
"It is not yet too late for the Burmese authorities to take credible steps to allow the citizens of the country to determine who should run their country.
"I urge the Burmese military government to allow a free and fair campaign and polling process; to release all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi; and to instigate an inclusive dialogue with the full participation of all opposition and ethnic groups.
"Unless they do so, these elections will not have legitimacy or international credibility."
© 2010 AFP