17 September 2010

Burma bars elections in 'troubled' areas

Several areas of Burma will be barred from taking part in November's general election, state media have reported.

State television said the electoral commission had decided that the vote in a number of townships in five states would not be free and fair.

The states are home to armed ethnic groups which have been resisting the Burmese junta's attempts to integrate them into a border guard force.

Critics have already described the elections in Burma (Myanmar) as a sham.
On Thursday, Burmese state TV quoted the electoral commission as saying that "the election will not be held in several constituencies where free and fair elections could not be held".

The commission said the polls would be cancelled in several townships in the states of Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon and Shan.

It was not immediately clear exactly how many constituencies had been erased from the vote.

Ethnic groups in the five states - mostly along Burma's eastern and northern border - have been seeking more autonomy from the central government since the country's independence in 1948.--Full story at BBC News

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