UN envoy calls for credible referendum, polls in Myanmar

February 25th, 2008 - 6:35 pm ICT by admin  

Singapore, Feb 25 (DPA) UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari and Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said Myanmar’s plan for a referendum on a new constitution followed by elections has to be “credible and inclusive” for national reconciliation, Singapore’s foreign affairs ministry said Monday. During their meeting in the city-state, both “noted positively” Myanmar’s announcement for a referendum on the constitution in May and elections in 2010, the ministry’s statement said.

Gambari arrived in Singapore on Feb 23 and departs Tuesday as part of a regional tour.

Myanmar’s military junta said earlier this month it would hold the referendum followed by the election. However opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been prohibited from taking part because she is the widow of a foreigner, the junta said.

Gambari, the UN secretary general’s special envoy on Myanmar, has said he intends to discuss the ban on Suu Kyi with the authorities in Myanmar early next month.

Myanmar should revise the proposed constitution to include the interest of opposition and minority groups or the referendum would have no credibility, he said.

While in Singapore, Gambari also called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. “There were exchanges of views on Gambari’s…tour of the region and international support of his mission in Myanmar,” the statement said.

Lee and Yeo reiterated the city-state’s support for Gambari’s visit to Myanmar to help in the country’s work toward national reconciliation.

Singapore currently holds the chairmanship of the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations, which includes Myanmar.

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