04/10/2015, 00.00
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Aung San Suu Kyi calls on national leaders for free and democratic elections

The high-level meeting held in Naypyidaw includes opposition leaders, President Thein Sein, the head of the military and a representative of ethnic minorities. The talks focus on the year-end election and the amendments to the Charter. The "Lady" does not exclude that the government may postpone the vote and a possible boycott if the conditions are not "free and fair".

Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met the heads of government, institutional and military of Myanmar today, to discuss the future of the nation and its political and social order. However, according to the "Lady" these meetings, although a milestone on the path of democratization of the country, will be effective only if they lead to really "free and fair" elections (scheduled later this year).

The issue at stake is the Constitution of Myanmar, written by the military in 2008 and approved by a farce referendum held during the national emergency provoked by Cyclone Nargis. The charter prevents Aung San Suu Kyi running for president because her two children are of foreign nationality.

A few months away from the electoral challenge, time is running out for the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) as well as ethnic minorities, which the current constitution puts at a disadvantage compared to the ruling party.

Today’s talks in Naypyidaw included Thein Sein, Suu Kyi, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing (one of the most important members of the army, which is still very powerful in Myanmar), the presidents of both chambers and Maung Aye, representing ethnic minorities. The latter expresses skepticism about the effectiveness of this meeting, but admits that it could "serve as an encouragement for better mutual understanding and to reach a consensus on constitutional amendments."

Already last year, the NLD leader and parliamentarians had called for a meeting of this magnitude, but the president of Myanmar - ruled until 2010 by a military dictatorship, which was replaced in 2011 a semi-civil executive - and military leadership had declined the invitation.

Asked about the possibility that the government will find an excuse to postpone the vote, Aung San Suu Kyi said that "in politics one cannot rule anything out." The "Lady" did not even rule out the possibility of boycotting the vote, if the conditions in which it takes place are not really "free and fair". Moreover, there is still no definite date for when the election should take place.

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