UN Chief Calls for Credible Transition to Democracy After Myanmar Polls

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–8 November 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged authorities in Myanmar to ensure a credible transition towards democracy following the “insufficiently inclusive” vote held on Sunday in the South-east Asian nation.

The election, the first to be held in the country in 20 years, is part of a Government-designed timetable towards greater democratization.

A statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the voting was held in conditions that were “insufficiently inclusive, participatory and transparent.”

The Secretary-General believes the Myanmar authorities now have a responsibility to turn the conclusion of the election into a “new beginning” for the country and its people, it added.

“Consistent with their commitments, the authorities must demonstrate that the ballot is part of a credible transition towards democratic government, national reconciliation and respect for human rights.”

Mr. Ban urged the Myanmar authorities to release all remaining political prisoners and lift restrictions on detained pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi without further delay so that they can freely participate in the political life of their country.

He also urged the authorities to ensure that the process of forming new institutions of government is as broad-based and inclusive as possible.

“The international community will look to the Myanmar authorities to provide greater assurances that the current process marks a genuine departure from the status quo,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General voiced concern about reports of outbreaks of fighting in some areas and urged all sides to “refrain from any action that could raise tensions further or create instability at this sensitive time.”